N.B.A. in Talks to Resume Season at Walt Disney World Resort


The N.B.A. is in the early stages of discussions with the Walt Disney Company to restart its suspended season in late July at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, a league spokesman said Saturday.

The restart, said Mike Bass, the spokesman, would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which would act as “a single site for an N.BA. campus for games, practices and housing.” ESPN, which is owned by Disney, is a broadcast partner for the N.B.A.

“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place,” Bass said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Bass said, “Regular testing will be key in our return to play,” and that the league wanted to ensure that it “does not come at the expense of testing front line health care workers or others who need it.”

Any return to play must also come with a green light from the N.B.A. players’ union. A spokeswoman for the union did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is also unclear what the logistics of such a return would be, such as how many, if any, fans would be allowed into an arena for games, how freely players would be allowed to move around or what kind of testing would take place.

When the N.B.A. came to a halt in March, the league had completed roughly 80 percent of its season. The league on Saturday did not say whether it would play the remaining regular-season games or jump straight into the playoffs, though it seems likely at least some regular-season games will be played as a way to help playoff teams work through rust from the long layoff. (Bass did not immediately respond to messages seeking additional information.)

The N.B.A.’s board of governors is scheduled to have a call on Friday, and teams are expected to start recalling players to team facilities in early June. Teams have been informed that they will likely be allowed to have about 35 members of the team — between staff, players and coaches — at the site, according to three people briefed on the league’s plans. Some teams typically travel with more than 50.

At least one player, Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, has raised one of the issues the league and the union will have to navigate if the league, as some have suggested, returns and goes straight to the playoffs.



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