So many parents out there can attest to one hard fact: Disney World is expensive. The hotels are expensive. The food is expensive. The parks are expensive. We could only imagine how expensive it would be to rent out a sizable chunk of the campus to play the rest of the NBA season.
However, we now have a number on what that plan is costing the NBA. It is not small.
The NBA’s Disney World price tag
During an episode ESPN’s “The Jump,” Brian Windhorst reported that the NBA bubble will cost the league $150 million, or $1.5 million per day for 22 teams to play eight regular season games then the playoffs.
“The Orlando bubble is costing the NBA more than $150 million,” Windhorst said. “More than $1.5 million a day to put on, not to mention all the lost revenue they have from not being able to sell tickets.”
It’s not difficult to see how the NBA could rack up that large a bill. The league is paying for exclusive control of three resorts — including Disney World’s flagship, Grand Floridian — for up to three months, plus use of the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. There’s also the matter of staffing all those properties and the resources, food and entertainment required to keep the players happy.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver alluded to that cost in an interview with Time on Tuesday:
it's not all that economical for us to play on this campus. It's enormously expensive. Obviously, we don't have fans. I should've mentioned earlier, so, we're not selling tickets. 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
$150 million is a lot of money, and it also might just be the cost of doing business during a pandemic. For many reasons, Disney World was uniquely equipped to accommodate the NBA’s needs while creating something resembling a bubble. That might be why Major League Soccer is using the complex too.
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