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MGM Proposes Vegas-Based Bubble Plan for NBA, WNBA

According to The New York Times, MGM Resorts International has put together a proposal for the NBA and WNBA.

NEWS: APR 27 Coronavirus Impact in Las Vegas Photo by Barry Ambrose/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

North American sports leagues and businesses adjacent to them are continuing to work on isolation-friendly options in hopes of interrupting the current coronavirus-induced hiatuses. One option that has been circulated frequently (including a mention in a roundup featured on Blazer’s Edge) is the idea of resuming on-court action in a bubble-like atmosphere at a site in Las Vegas.

On Friday, The New York Times detailed a proposal that MGM Resorts International submitted to professional sports leagues. In the report, MGM detailed a setup that would feature full city block of facilities.

According to a proposal deck sent to the N.B.A. and the W.N.B.A., which The New York Times reviewed, MGM envisions a fully quarantined campus, essentially one full block of the Las Vegas Strip, where players would live and play out whatever schedule the leagues want. The athletes would be joined by their families, league and broadcast media employees, as well as the staff and vendors needed to serve them, with access to lounges, spas, restaurants and all the other perks the resorts offer (yes, even gambling).

Bill Hornbuckle, the acting chief executive of MGM Resorts, explained that the setup could potentially host televised-only events. While it is still murky on how this type of setup would truly impact the safety of players and employees, it is clear that MGM, like many businesses during the pandemic, is hemorrhaging money. Hornbuckle revealed that MGM’s earnings for the first quarter of 2020 are down 29 percent from 2019, a trend that is likely to continue.

You can read the full report at The New York Times.