Report: NBA facing $500 million question regarding 2020-21 season start date
The NBA league office projects the value of starting the 2020-21 season on December 22nd instead of a later date at more than $500 million, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
According to the report, the NBA is targeting the said date for the start of the 2020-21 season, with a 72-game regular season that finishes before the 2021 Olympics begin on July 23rd.
This would mean a return close to the NBA’s normal schedule, significant financial ramifications to start early, a potential finish before the 2021 Summer Olympics, and allow a window for stars to play in the Olympics, sources said. The NBA wants to continue to incorporate the play-in tournament that was utilized in the Orlando restart to determine the eighth seed in the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs, according to sources. ESPN first reported that a Christmas start and playing fewer than 82 games would be discussed on Friday’s call.
The NBA did a great job of completing the 2019-20 season after the campaign was suspended in March due to COVID-19.
Silver and Co. used the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando, Florida as the host site for what the NBA called the “bubble games.” There were no positive COVID-19 tests in the bubble and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals in six games.
It remains to be seen what the NBA will do for next season, especially with the coronavirus still raging on. However, reports indicate that the league will want in-market games with fans in attendance by employing stricter COVID-19 protocols in arenas.