The NBA and its players stand to lose a significant amount of money if the 2019/20 season can’t be completed, but operating the campus at Walt Disney World from July through October won’t be cheap either. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the endeavor is expected to cost the league more than $150MM.
As Windhorst explains, the NBA will be responsible for housing 22 teams’ travel parties at three Disney resorts, with basketball being played on seven practice courts and at three arenas. Additionally, the league will be paying for meals, security, transportation, entertainment, and medical support, including daily COVID-19 testing. Plus, the NBA won’t be getting any of the revenue it typically earns from ticket sales and in-arena purchases.
Still, based on the television revenue the NBA is salvaging, completing the season will allow players to retain more than $600MM in salary that would be lost if the season is canceled, says Windhorst.
Here’s more on the league’s restart:
- Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan admitted today that he didn’t have an easy time making it through the NBA’s 113-page handbook of health and safety protocols for the Orlando campus, as ESPN’s Royce Young writes. “The ping-pong thing is ridiculous, to be honest,” DeRozan said, referring to doubles ping-pong games being prohibited. “Guys can’t do this, but we can do this and battle over each other? That part just don’t make no sense to me. I got through 10 lines of the handbook and just put it down because it became so frustrating and overwhelming at times, because you just never thought you’d be in a situation of something like this. So it’s hard to process at times.”
- Shams Charania of The Athletic provides some details on the mandatory virtual meetings being held this week with the 22 teams going to Orlando, referred to as “campus orientation meetings.” Players have been told during those meetings that the NBA and NBPA are working to ensure that a larger group of Disney staffers will be subject to a COVID-19 testing protocol, says Charania.
- After word broke that six FC Dallas players tested positive for the coronavirus upon arriving to the MLS Disney campus, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter) that July 7-11 will be a crucial period for the NBA as the league looks to avoid a similar outbreak after teams arrive in Orlando.
- Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN takes a look at how NBA head coaches are preparing for and approaching the unprecedented NBA restart following a four-month layoff.