On Friday, Kevin Draper of The New York Times reported that MGM Resorts International pitched multiple sports leagues, including the NBA, WNBA, NHL and MLS a quarantined, integrated resort option in Las Vegas, Nev. If this happens, this could allow games to continue while keeping players, coaches and other officials in a controlled environment to play the remainder of their seasons (or to have a season in the WNBA’s case), while restarting the economy in Las Vegas, which is heavily dependent on tourism and gambling.
MGM Resorts International isn’t just a casino and hotel owning company with properties worldwide including a resort in Oxon Hill, Md. It also owns the Las Vegas Aces WNBA team, who play at the Mandalay Bay Resort. And there’s another reason why Las Vegas could be an option for the NBA and the WNBA. The area hosts the annual NBA Summer League each July.
If the NBA decides to accept this pitch, then players, invited family members, coaches, and designated staff will reside at the Mandalay Bay and cannot leave the resort until play concludes. Convention centers could be converted into practice courts in addition to facilities at UNLV, which is located nearby.
While at the resort, all players from the sports leagues can enjoy amenities like restaurants, lounges and gambling. And if I read the article right, even workers have to stay at the integrated resort, which includes the Four Seasons, Delano, and Luxor hotels.
The idea sounds intriguing, but at the same time, I’m assuming all players and staff have to be tested regularly. If someone at this event eventually tests positive for COVID-19 (since there still has to be some of communication with the outside world including supply trucks for food), then the plan falls apart.
Would you like to see the NBA, WNBA, NHL and/or MLS take part in this type of an experiment? Let us know!