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Volume 26 No. 65
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Interactive NBA Experience Opens To Public At Disney Springs

Silver and Iger (r) both spoke to those in attendance before the attraction officially opened
Photo: WALT DISNEY WORLD

Walt Disney World and the NBA's "interactive basketball-themed attraction," NBA Experience, has officially "opened to the public at Disney Springs," according to Dewayne Bevil of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. The attraction "features about a dozen hoops-driven activities that either simulate the big-league experience, improve skill sets or tweak normal basketball play." The business "stands amid stores and restaurants, including House of Blues across the walkway." Monday’s opening was attended by Basketball HOFers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Grant Hill, while Disney Chair & CEO Bob Iger and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver "spoke to the Disney Springs crowd before the official opening." A wax version of Silver is "stationed inside the NBA Experience." It "helps form a photo op for visitors, who can stand with faux Silver as if their names have just been called on Draft day." In addition, the ground floor "features exhibits about players, a chance to compare wingspans with a picture" of Magic C Mohamed Bamba and a "retail space." Meanwhile, a sports bar/restaurant called City Works Eatery & Pour Hour is "scheduled to open in the building later." A ticket for a "one-day visit to NBA Experience" is $34 while costing $29 for ages 3-9 (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/13).

GLOBAL FLEX: AD AGE's E.J. Schultz wrote the venue "shows how Disney, with its vast theme park and media empire, is able to offer unique assets to sports properties that other media companies are unable to bring to the table." NBA President of Global Partnerships Sal LaRocca said that the league and Disney "first began discussing the venue when the league last renewed its TV rights deal" with Disney, covering ESPN and ABC networks. LaRocca said, "If we didn’t have the media rights deal, we likely wouldn’t have had the conversation to do this." Disney Senior VP/Resorts Thomas Mazloum said that he "expects the NBA Experience to have global appeal" (ADAGE.com, 8/12).