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NBA resumption at Disney World could cost $150m

The National Basketball Association's (NBA) planned resumption of the 2019/20 season, set to take place at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, could cost the league over US$150 million, according to ESPN.

The cost of using the theme park’s facilities has been reported at a staggering US$2 million per day, right through to October 13 when the finals are expected to be completed.

The long-anticipated return of the NBA has been confirmed as taking place on July 30 having been put on hold for nearly five months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Early last month it was settled that Walt Disney World would play host to the 22 teams contending in the league, forming a bubble to ensure the safety of the players and staff.

ESPN has also reported that the NBA could lose more than US$1 billion in revenue, not factoring in the sum of money needed to complete the rest of the season. By ensuring that the season is finished however, by featuring 88 games and the four rounds of play-offs, the league has safeguarded against any more losses in the wake of Covid-19’s continued disruption to the sports’ financial sector.

NBA players were made to complete mandatory Covid-19 testing on June 23 before travelling to Orlando between July 7-9 where they will be allowed to begin training camps after a quarantine period. With the league now going ahead, the players will be able to collect their paycheques as fears grew that US$600 million worth of salary could have been lost had the season been cancelled.

Franchises will also be protected from heavier financial losses as the league focuses on collecting TV revenue with no fans in attendance. The postseason is usually a time of greater economic reward for the NBA with packed arenas and high TV ratings.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Times magazine: ““It comes into play that we feel an obligation to our sport and to the industry to find a new normal.

“It doesn't come into play in terms of dollars and cents because, frankly, it's not all that economical for us to play on this campus. It's enormously expensive.”

Author: Jake Wilkin