The National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association announced today that they have finalized a comprehensive plan for a July 30 restart to the 2019-20 season, which includes stringent health and safety protocols, at a single-site campus at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
News came as the league announced that sixteen NBA players tested positive for the coronavirus in an opening round of testing that began Tuesday.
Disney agreed to make the Arena, the Field House and Visa Athletic Center at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex the venues for all games for the remainder of the season, which will resume with 22 teams returning to play and no fans.
COVID-19 safety protocols for the safety of players, coaches, officials and staff, was developed in consultation with public health experts, infectious disease specialists and government officials.
“We are grateful to our longtime collaborator Disney for its role in playing host and making this return to play possible, and we also thank the public health officials and infectious disease specialists who helped guide the creation of comprehensive medical protocols and protections,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
As the sports world struggles to get back on its feet after a long layoff caused by the pandemic, leagues from from baseball to tennis to golf to wrestling grappled with coronavirus issues as new cases spike in many states..
Notwithstanding, baseball’s coming back too. Nearly three months after Opening Day was canceled, Major League Baseball and its players union have agreed to play a truncated 60-game regular season starting in late July, with training camps set to open by July 1.