The NBA announced Friday that it has finalized a plan for restarting the 2019-2020 season, which was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league also released a complete game schedule for the remaining matchups.
The season will resume on July 30, with what the league described in a press release as “stringent health and safety protocols.” The league said all of the season’s remaining games will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida, with no fans present.
On opening night, the Utah Jazz will face the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Los Angeles Clippers will take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The following day, the Boston Celtics will face the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Houston Rockets will face the Dallas Mavericks.
The league also noted that “the goal of the season restart” is to “find tangible and sustainable ways to address racial inequality across the country.” That includes increasing black representation in the NBA, working with more black-owned businesses, and forming a foundation to promote educational and economic opportunities within the black community.
“We have worked together with the Players Association to establish a restart plan that prioritizes health and safety, preserves competitive fairness and provides a platform to address social justice issues,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in the release. “We are grateful to our longtime collaborator Disney for its role in playing host and making this return to play possible, and we also thank the public health officials and infectious disease specialists who helped guide the creation of comprehensive medical protocols and protections.”
Of the 302 players tested on June 23, 16 were positive for the virus, the league said in a statement earlier Friday.
The Toronto Raptors have eight regular season games remaining and will resume their schedule in Orlando on August 1 against the Los Angeles Lakers.