Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to stage both major leagues this summer
City leaders hoping major publicity will rejuvenate tourism industry hit by Covid-19
Tournaments will help bolster Orlando’s portfolio in bidding for major sporting events
The city of Orlando, Florida, is looking to leverage its position as the effective epicenter of professional sports in the United States this summer to rejuvenate its tourism industry in the immediate term and secure major sporting events in the long term.
In the coming weeks, both the National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer are scheduled to base themselves at the Walt Disney Company’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for extended periods as the organizations look to salvage their seasons in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
MLS has already announced it will stage the “MLS is Back Tournament”, a World Cup-style tournament featuring all 26 teams, which is set to begin on July 8 and finish on August 11. Teams are due to arrive in Orlando from June 24 for ‘preseason training’.
The NBA, meanwhile, is planning to finish its postponed 2019-20 season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, with a 22-team event that is due to begin on July 30 and finish by October 13. It is unclear exactly when teams will arrive in Orlando, while a number of logistical issues still need to be resolved for the project to be finalized.
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