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Report: NBA Teams Would Have Shortened Travel Parties For A Bubble League

The 2019-20 NBA season remains on hiatus since the global COVID-19 pandemic reached its stratosphere in March, but the league and players have reportedly been working on a return to play. After team offices and buildings shuttered along with restaurants, gyms and barber shops across the country, the league announced that teams could open their practice facilities starting May 1 in cities and states where local governments have relaxed stay-at-home orders. Players have been able to choose for themselves if they feel comfortable participating, and the move, in compliance with social distancing guidelines, only allows for individual workouts.

Since then, the league has also reportedly discussed the possibility of a bubble league, with Orlando’s Walt Disney World the frontrunner to host such an operation. On Friday, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported that the NBA will only allow teams to bring around 35 people, including players, coaches and other staff, to a “campus” site in July, when the season is strongly expected to resume. As Stein noted, a normal game day would include more than 50 members from each team in attendance.

The WNBA, whose season was scheduled to begin on May 15, will likely mirror the NBA’s plans, although in a separate location. Earlier this month, The New York Times found that MGM Resorts International, which owns several properties in Las Vegas including the Mandalay Bay Events Center — home to the Las Vegas Aces and host of the 2019 WNBA All-Star Weekend — made its case as a possible bubble league host to several leagues, including the WNBA.

Major League Baseball was also reportedly considering having all 30 teams play in Arizona, where there are currently over 15,000 reported COVID-19 cases and at least 763 deaths. This past week, news also broke that the National Women’s Soccer League and Major League Soccer were also considering playing tournaments in Utah and Orlando, respectively.

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