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NBA Board votes for season restart moving to Walt Disney World Resort

by Attractions Magazine Staff

The NBA has set its plan in motion for restarting the 2019-2020 season, where 22 teams will practice, play and stay at Walt Disney World Resort.

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The NBA Board of Governors approved the plan, which features a tentative start date for Friday, July 31. The Board’s approval is the first of many steps required to resume the season.

The NBA is currently working to finalize a season restart plan with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). The NBA and NBPA are working with infectious disease specialists, public health experts, and government officials to establish a program to prevent and lower the risk related to COVID-19, including protocols like regular testing and strict safety practices. The restart of the 2019-2020 season also depends on an agreement with Disney to use Walt Disney World Resort as a single site for a campus for all games, practices, and housing for the rest of the season.

The 22 returning teams will include the 16 teams (eight per conference) currently in playoff positions and the six teams that are currently six games or less behind the eighth seed in their conferences.

Those teams are:

Eastern Conference

  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Boston Celtics
  • Miami Heat
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Orlando Magic
  • Washington Wizards

Western Conference

  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • LA Clippers
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Utah Jazz
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Houston Rockets
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Phoenix Suns

“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season,” said Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner. “While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts. We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways.”

The season restart would begin with eight “seeding games” for each returning team and include a possible play-in tournament for the eighth and final playoff seed in each conference, depending on combined records across regular-season games and seeding games.

Once the 16-team playoff field is set, the NBA Playoffs would continue in a traditional conference-based format with four rounds and best-of-seven series in each round. The NBA Finals would end no later than Oct. 12.

There is no announcement as to where the NBA teams will be housed on property, per their agreement with Disney.


Stay tuned for more updates as this story develops.

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