One of the reasons the NBA selected Disney to be the host-site for their “bubble” restart was there were already regulation size basketball courts. According to NBC Sports Chicago, the NBA will be utilizing three courts to play games, but practice facilities are a bit more complicated. Practice courts were laid out at some of the different hotel venues with each facility hosting some of the hardwoods.
In addition to the game venues, there are seven practice courts available to NBA teams, per ESPN. Disney’s Wide World of Sports has several on-site arenas including the HP Field House which has a history of hosting a number of sporting events including college basketball holiday tournaments. Disney describes it as a more than 70,000 square-foot facility which can host 5,000 fans. Given the ongoing pandemic, the only fans in attendance will be virtual, but the arena is much smaller than a typical NBA team’s capacity.
Walt Disney World Is Twice the Size of Manhattan
There was some concern about NBA players going to Orlando given Florida is one of the hot spots for COVID-19. So far, the NBA has had great success keeping players healthy and part of the reason Disney was selected is the size of the property. As Yahoo Sports’ Keith Smith explained, Disney is twice the size of Manhattan and has similar square-miles to San Francisco.
“A few Walt Disney World facts for those who are unfamiliar: -39 sq. miles (twice the size of Manhattan and roughly the size of San Francisco)
-34 on-property resorts (28 owned/operated by Disney) -EWWS is 220 acres. 3 indoor venues and multiple acres of field space. It’s a city,” Smith noted on Twitter.
NBA Players Are Staying at 3 Different Hotels
The NBA bubble features 22 teams who are staying at three hotels: The Yacht Club, The Grand Floridian and The Gran Destino. Not only does Disney have the size needed to keep teams healthy, but the NBA has issued stringent protocols to ensure that the bubble (which the NBA prefers to call their temporary “campus”) stays free of COVID-19.
Players, coaches and media members were required to quarantine upon arrival and could only leave their rooms for testing. Once they had a set number of negative tests they were then permitted to move around the Disney campus for practice, games and select activities.
Players are not allowed to leave the Disney property that is set aside for NBA teams. There are instances where players have left the bubble for family emergencies but are then required to go through the quarantine and testing process once again upon re-arrival. Prior to the NBA’s restart, commissioner Adam Silver discussed the league’s ability to trace the virus if they do begin to have positive tests.
“I think we do have the ability to trace, of course to try to understand where that positive case came from,” Silver told ESPN. “We can actually analyze the virus itself and try to track whether there is more than one case, if it’s in essence the same virus and same genetic variation of the virus that is passed from one player to another or two people have gotten it on the campus independently. So those are all things that we are looking at. Certainly if we had any sort of significant spread within our campus, we would be shut down again.”