While the sports world searches for ways to resume, MGM Resorts International has offered to create a “bubble city” for leagues like the NBA and WNBA on the Las Vegas Strip.
According to The New York Times‘ Kevin Draper, MGM proposed housing athletes and related sports staffs in a quarantined block on the Strip. The offer was extended to the NBA, WNBA, NHL and MLS—all leagues that have yet to figure out when or how they can safely finish their seasons.
In MGM’s proposal to the NBA, the resort reportedly said The Mandalay Bay would serve as the hub since it’s connected to other hotels and a convention center. Athletes’ families would be able to stay with them in the quarantined resort and have access to amenities like restaurants, casinos and spas.
“As many as 24 basketball courts could be built at the convention center at Mandalay Bay, which hosts the Aces of the WNBA. Five would be used to telecast games, while the others would be for practice,” Draper reports.
The idea of the NBA resuming its season in Las Vegas has previously been pitched. Other options include the league potentially playing at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
While the regular season is currently halted, the NBA is targeting May 8 as the earliest date for opening practice facilities in areas where stay-at-home orders have been eased. On Friday afternoon, the NBA also announced that it has indefinitely postponed the draft lottery and draft combine in May due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NBA’s decision to postpone the combine appears to be the first step in potentially moving the league’s draft. The 2020 NBA draft is currently scheduled for June 25 in Brooklyn.
In an effort to have time to finish the 2019-20 season and give players a full offseason, the league has also mulled possibly delaying the start of next season until December.