NBA Owners And Players Agree To Open Season On December 22
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA’s owners and the NBA Players Association have agreed to begin the season on December 22. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league’s players held a vote Thursday and agreed to begin the season in late December rather than the later Martin Luther King Day alternative.
The season will be shortened from 82 games to 72 and will run through mid-July and is expected to wrap up before the rescheduled 2021 Olympic Games. The accelerated start day is projected to earn the NBA an additional $500 million to $1 billion in revenue and will allow the league to host its annual Christmas Day showcase.
There are stll several topics on the table that have to be agreed upon between the two sides. Beyond setting an opening date in December, the NBA and the players have to determine when to open training camps, as well as when to begin the free agency period.
Additionally, the two sides must agree upon new financial terms to offset projected revenue losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Players are expected to commit a larger percentage of their salaries to escrow to cover potential losses.
The NBA hopes to have a limited number of fans in the stands when the regular season begins.
The league will reopen for business officially once the agreement is ratified, allowing teams to make trades leading up to the November 18 NBA draft.