NBA To Allow Return-to-Play in Orlando

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The NBA on Thursday, June 4 took the official step to put a schedule in place for a return to action to resume the season in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports with the approval of the teams to implement the plan of NBA commissioner Adam Silver. By a vote of 29-1, the NBA Board of Governors approved the plan put forth by Silver after a long process of working with the Players Association and team executives. The NBPA’s (National Basketball Players Association) approval is all that is needed for the plan to be official.

The NBA was the first of the major American professional sports leagues to shut down because of the coronavirus. The NBA considered a number of options, including a straight-to-playoffs format but in the end, it is a 22-team field with an eight-game finish to the regular season that was part of the decision. An eight-game finish to the regular season that will determine seeding for the postseason and if a play-in for the eighth seed in each conference is necessary.

The NBA and the NBPA are working to prevent the risk related to COVID-19, including a regular testing protocol and stringent safety practices. The season restart is also pending approval for The Walt Disney Company to let the NBA use Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, as a single site for a campus for all games, practices and housing for the remainder of the season.“ 

The regular season will resume July 31, with the NBA finals set to occur in early-to-mid October. The postseason will follow its standard best-of-seven format. The league’s participants will take part in eight regular-season games and a possible play-in tournament. The 2020 NBA draft is currently set for October 15 with NBA free agency set to begin October 18. If the 2019-20 season resumes as expected, the 2020-21 regular season would begin December 1. 

About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports is a sports complex measuring 225 acres. The complex is an incredible venue that includes the Baseball Quadraplex, Champion Stadium, HESS Sports Field, the Jostens Center, the HP Field House, the Softball Diamonplex, the Tennis Complex, and  the Track & Field Complex. The Baseball Quadraplex is a training and competition facility with four fields and one practice infield.