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NBA Eyes Resuming 2019-20 Season at Disney World

The site has more momentum in its favor than other options like Las Vegas, according to The Athletic.

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The entrance to Disney World is deserted on the first day of... Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, has emerged as the “clear frontrunner” to host NBA games when the 2019-20 season resumes, according to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic (subscription required). The league suspended play on March 11 in reaction to the spread of the coronavirus.

Charania and Amick note that Disney World is gaining favor over other venues, like Las Vegas where NBA Summer League is played. Additionally, the insiders note that mid-July is a popular target date for play to resume:

The NBA is in serious discussions with Disney about the property, which has gained clear momentum over cities such as Las Vegas, sources said. It remains unclear when the games would begin, but multiple sources say the prospect of players fully training in mid-June and playing by mid-July has been the most popular and possible scenario discussed.

According to the report, the league and Disney need to hammer down details, but all signs point to Orlando being the sole host:

While the league has explored the possibility of holding games in multiple cities, it appears likely that Orlando would be a sole host. Sources confirmed that Houston has also received serious consideration as a host city, but Orlando is on track to win its bid so long as final details regarding testing and hotel use are resolved. For the NBA, Orlando/Disney World’s controllability as a playing site — with a private property having the necessary complexes, hotels and amenities — has been the most appealing of all the possibilities all along.

Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports, who originally proposed the league look at Disney World as a real option, provided further insight on the resort:

You can read more about the NBA’s discussions with Disney World here.