NBA and Disney in Talks to Restart Season at Disney’s Florida World of Sports Complex in July
According to NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass, the league is considering the complex as a "single site" for games, practices and housing.
The NBA is tentatively aiming to restart its 2019 to 2020 season at the end of July.
According to several reports, the league is currently in talks with The Walt Disney Company to resume their basketball season at the company's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando.
NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass released a statement on Saturday, stating: "The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing."
"Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place," he added, according to USA Today.
The NBA did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. A Disney spokesperson told PEOPLE that the company is engaged in conversations with the NBA about completing the season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
The league first suspended their season in early March when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. They have since considered a number of locations to use as a single site to safely resume the season, including venues in Las Vegas and Houston, USA Today reports.
However, a few team executives spoke to CNBC in April, calling on the league to cancel the season entirely, saying that team owners were considering that possibility.
Some players weren't pleased with the report, including LeBron James, who reassured fans that the season would resume once it was safe to do so.
"Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season??? That’s absolutely not true," he tweeted last month. "Nobody I know saying anything like that. As soon as it’s safe we would like to finish our season. I’m ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything."
In late April, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, told The New York Times he was also skeptical about the NBA resuming their season this year.
"If you can't guarantee safety," Fauci told the Times. "Then, unfortunately you're going to have to bite the bullet and say, ‘We may have to go without this sport for this season.' "
On Sunday, New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemed to feel this was possible as long as franchises did so without fans, and gave New York teams the green light to resume practices.
"I believe that sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena, do it. Do it," Cuomo said at his Sunday briefing, USA Today reported.
He added that the state would work with the teams to come up with a safe comeback plan.
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