May 23, 2020 / 7:57 PM / in 7 days

NBA in talks to resume season at Disney World

FILE PHOTO: Fireworks go off around Cinderella's castle during the grand opening ceremony for Walt Disney World's new Fantasyland in Lake Buena Vista, Florida December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Scott Audette

(Reuters) - The NBA is in talks with The Walt Disney Company about restarting its suspended season at Disney World in Florida in late July after it was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league said on Saturday.

The potential plan would see the league hold games at a single site, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a sprawling athletic complex inside the Orlando resort that has three arenas, hotels and would allow the league to limit outside exposure.

“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement outlining the plan.

In mid-March, with five weeks remaining in its 82-game schedule, the NBA became the first major North American professional sports league to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic after a player tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Since then a number of other NBA players in the 30-team league have tested positive, including former league Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets.

The NBA playoffs were originally scheduled to begin on April 18 and conclude in June.

More than half of the league’s teams have re-opened their practice facilities this month under strict conditions and only in places where local and state governments have given them the green light.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis

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