NBA Paying More Than $150M For Disney World Bubble
The NBA bubble at Disney World in Orlando that is being used for the league's restart is costing "more than $150 million, more than $1.5 million a day, to put on," according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. That figure does not include "all the lost revenue they have from not being able to sell tickets" ("The Jump," ESPN, 6/30). NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a conversation with Time's Sean Gregory said, "It's not all that economical for us to play on this campus. It's enormously expensive. ... But as I said, we almost see it as our duty to find a way that we can still provide the sport of basketball to our fans and to the broader community. This is how we're going to do it. This is not a sustainable model over the long term, that's for sure, at least based on the way we've conducted our sport historically." YAHOO SPORTS' Jack Baer notes the NBA is "paying exclusive control of three resorts ... for up to three months, plus use of the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex." There also is "staffing all those properties and the resources, food and entertainment required to keep the players happy" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/1).
REDUCING TENSION: ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes noted several NBA GMs said that they have "tried to quell concerns among staff members who might not feel comfortable attending during the coronavirus pandemic." Some of the concerned are "at an age with higher risk and/or have underlying health issues." The GMs have separately said that they have "tried to tell such staffers -- and relayed to virtually their entire staff -- that they shouldn't feel any pressure to attend if they don't feel comfortable for any reason and that they shouldn't feel insecure about their jobs if they're unable to attend." Concerns also have been "heightened because of the surging case numbers in Florida" (ESPN.com, 6/30).
TOUGH CALL: In Miami, Barry Jackson notes for the Heat, the most difficult decision "might be the senior executive to send; each team is required to send one." Heat President Pat Riley "would be natural, under normal circumstances, but his age (75) puts him in a demographic group particularly vulnerable to coronavirus." The Heat yesterday were not "ready to reveal whether Riley would go to Orlando or who would replace him if he doesn't" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/1).