As NBA, MLS prep for Disney return, Florida coronavirus cases spike

ESPN’s Wide World of Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Florida reported an additional 2,016 positive coronavirus cases on Sunday, breaking the streak of three-straight days of setting record highs for positive tests, but still, a dizzyingly high number as the pandemic subsides in other hot spots around the country. 

It was the second-straight day that Florida’s positive test count eclipsed the 2,000-person mark, but considerably less than Saturday’s 2,581 reported cases.

That’s concerning news for both the NBA and Major League Soccer, both of whom have agreed to return to play in July at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. 

Orlando — located in Orange County — was not exempt from the Floridian spike as they recently hit new daily highs, but the area’s numbers pale in comparison to Miami-Dade County, whose mayor admitted that another stay-at-home order might be in the cards for the area. 

Disney will serve as the bubble location for both pro basketball and soccer leagues as they look to restart their postponed seasons. 

The NBA is set to begin on July 30 where 22 of its 30 teams will be on hand. 

Eight regular-season games will be played to decipher the final playoff seedings before a traditional playoff format determines the 2020 NBA champion. 

American soccer’s MLS is Back Tournament will begin weeks earlier on July 8 where a World Cup-style competition provides a marquee atmosphere for a sport still trying to gain prominence on the American sports stage. 

Players and staff from both leagues will not be allowed to leave the resort but a report on Friday revealed that Disney World’s support staff will not be subject to isolation protocols, meaning they’ll be free to leave the resort once their shifts end. 

Neither MLS nor the NBA immediately responded to inquiries for comment on the matter.