This pandemic has created very interesting challenges and solutions for many different jobs and professions, professional sports being a major one. The NBA’s solution was to create the ‘NBA Bubble’ on the Walt Disney World property. Players used ESPN Wide World of Sports as their home court and stayed at Disney resorts such as Disney’s Grand Floridian during their stay.
With the NBA season coming to a close shortly, many of us thought the bubble had popped. Well, it looks like the basketball bubble may still be intact. It is important to note that this is still a rumor, but ESPN reported that College basketball (NCAA) would be headed to Disney.
ESPN is planning to move at least eight of its men’s college basketball events to the ESPN Wide World of Sports property at Walt Disney World in Orlando, conference and team sources told ESPN.
ESPN runs 10 nonconference events in November and December, and at least eight of them are expected to take place in Orlando this year. The Champions Classic, Charleston Classic, Myrtle Beach Invitational, NIT Season Tip-Off, Wooden Legacy, Orlando Invitational, Jimmy V Classic and Diamond Head Classic are expected to move to Disney.
The success of the NBA series taking place at Walt Disney World has clearly sparked the opportunity for more sports leagues and teams such as the NCAA to use the ESPN Wide World of Sports to their advantage.
When will this second bubble begin?
According to ESPN:
The events are expected to begin on Nov. 25, the new start date of the 2020-21 college basketball season, and run for the first two weeks of the season. Specific dates for the events are undetermined for now, but the Champions Classic — which annually takes place on the first night of the season — is more likely to occur during the second week of the proposed two-week window, team sources told ESPN. There will be events overlapping during those two weeks, with up to three games going on at once.
Since we originally published this article, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis even shared his support:
We welcome the relocation of these classic college basketball events to Florida.https://t.co/x7ASs4oJqb
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 22, 2020
Again, this is not yet confirmed but the league is looking for a controlled environment for their games. What will be interesting to see is how this will affect Disney World. Like we mentioned earlier, NBA players were relocated to Disney resorts while they played. This cut down resort capacity and sections of resorts as a whole. With College basketball taking a similar approach to the solution of playing sports during a pandemic, it is possible they could take residence at Walt Disney World. This is all speculation, so stay tuned to ITM to find out what is happening next with this new basketball bubble.