The NBA is sparing no expense as it works to create a bubble in Disney World to keep players and staff safe and healthy when they start playing games at the end of July. For the next three months, the league is taking over three resorts within Disney, including their flagship hotel, the Grand Floridian. They will also be using ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex.
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the giant bubble is going to cost the league about $1.5 million per day. When the season is finished, and an NBA champion is crowned, the league will have shelled about more than $150 million.
"The Orlando bubble is costing the NBA more than $150 million," Windhorst said. "More than $1.5 million a day to put on, not to mention all the lost revenue they have from not being able to sell tickets."
In an interview with TIME magazine, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver admitted that it is "not all that economical for us to play on this campus," adding that without fans, playing in Disney World is "not a sustainable model over the long term."
Silver said that restarting the season is worth the cost because the league has a "duty to find a way that we can still provide the sport of basketball to our fans and to the broader community."
Silver said that he is "pretty confident" that the league can resume games on July 30. He touted the league's 113-page health and safety plan as a model for other industries as they began to reopen.
"I am absolutely convinced that it will be safer on this campus than off this campus because there aren't many situations that I am aware of where there is mass testing of asymptomatic employees," Silver said. "In some ways, this is may be a model for how other industries can ultimately open."
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