On July 8th, the MLS is Back Tournament commenced at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida with an intense match up between Orlando City SC and Inter Miami CF. The hometown team ended up winning in the final minutes of stoppage time 2-1.
There was scheduled to be another match up that evening between Nashville SC and Chicago Fire FC that ended up being canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Nashville SC organization. Nashville SC and FC Dallas were both later expelled from the tournament due to positive test results for COVID-19.
The removal of these teams ended up being both crucial and successful for MLS as it proved that the bubble would not burst so easily in such a physical game. All 26 teams have been staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in a bubble environment.
This is good news for the NBA as the MLS has proved that a bubble environment has worked to stop the spread of COVID-19 among teams. Both leagues are currently inhabiting the Disney World campus where both are/will play their games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Both leagues also have a similar setup in the processes that players undergo each day for testing.
Another point to be made is that the MLS has a larger bubble size and it is much easier for it to burst. Each team contains around 40-50 players with about 30-40 personnel going along with each team for a size roughly around 2,000 people. The NBA has around 15-20 players for each team with around 20-30 personnel traveling with each team for a bubble size of around 1,300 people.
So, NBA fans, be optimistic that the NBA restart will commence on time, and as scheduled as the MLS has provided you with valuable information about how a bubble environment can work effectively in a state where COVID-19 is currently rampant.