Behind the scenes, sports leagues are trying to figure out how and when to start playing again. Some leagues are looking at playing in their own facilities without fans while others are looking to play in a small number of locations.
Disney World is set to reopen their amusement parks starting July 11. In a “phased reopening” according to USA Today, Disney is planning to reopen Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on the 11th while Epcot and Hollywood Studios is set to reopen on the 15th.
While nothing has been officially set, MLS and the NBA have looked at Disney World as a likely location to continue play. Both leagues are looking to play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is located on the southern end of the Disney World facility but is separate from the rest of the park.
Chances are, Disney has the infrastructure to simultaneously house and run two leagues but what was once an idea thought to be in a completely empty location has now turned into one of the most popular line of amusement parks reopening to the public while both leagues will be playing. Even though the public might be a fair distance away and probably not pose a risk, players may feel that being quarantined in Orlando just got tougher and some might have second thoughts as a result.
MLS is reportedly considering going to Orlando June 21 (three weeks before Disney World reopens) and remain there for slightly over a month for a regular season tournament. The NBA was reportedly discussing late July for a possible restart.
Even though Disney World is planning to reopen, they are trying to reopen as safely as possible. In addition to having a limited capacity, people entering the parks must wear face masks and have their temperatures taken. Masks will be provided for anyone who didn’t bring one. It’ll be interesting to see if anything changes between MLS and the NBA.
[USA Today/Photo: Disney]