Los Angeles, 27 June 2020 (dpa/MIA) – The NBA and its players union officially announced Friday the league will resume play with 22 of its teams July 30 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, a development that comes as cases of the coronavirus continue to spike around the resort property.
“We have worked together with the Players Association to establish a restart plan that prioritizes health and safety, preserves competitive fairness and provides a platform to address social justice issues,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in the release. “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.”
The complete game schedule and television schedule for the “seeding games” will be released Friday night.
“It is very exciting to officially announce the restart of the 2019-2020 season,” NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said. “It has taken true collaboration between the League and the Union _ special kudos to our Executive Committee and several other team reps _ along with the continued support and assistance from medical experts, public health officials and many others.
“Additionally, our platform in Orlando presents a unique opportunity to extend the ongoing fight against systemic racism and police brutality in this country. We will continue to work with our players and the League to develop specific plans in Orlando as well as long-term initiatives to bring about real change on these issues.”
Players will live in one of three Disney resorts, with workers who live off-campus having little to no face-to-face interactions with players and team and league staffs. Still, 1,051 positive cases were reported Thursday in Orange County, Florida, where the event will be hosted. The positive test rate was a whopping 17.9 per cent.
The NBA began coronavirus testing for players this week at 22 team facilities with 16 positive tests found.