Boardwalk Hall will be the site of the NBA playoffs if Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small has his way.
Small confirmed a Tuesday New York Post report that the city is attempting to lure the league to play at the beachfront arena once the coronavirus pandemic is over.
“It is my goal to recruit and bring people here,” Small said during his Facebook Live update, regarding the pandemic’s impact on his city. “We are trying to work that out and bring the NBA here once things settle down a little bit.”
Small said he could not provide any other more information and would not say how the initial talks with the league have gone. He noted that playing the games in Atlantic City would be great for the city’s economy.
The New York Post reported the league was considering Atlantic City, Orlando, Fla., Hawaii, Louisville, Ky., and Las Vegas as possible locations for a 16-team playoff minus fans if the season resumes. The Bahamas have been mentioned as another potential site.
A league source would only say that everything is on that table.
All NBA games were suspended March 11 after Utah center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus. Commissioner Adam Silver announced the next day that play would be suspended for at least 30 days. However, the new expectation is the NBA might not resume until July if at all.
Three unnamed members of the Sixers organization have tested positive for COVID-19. On Saturday, the New York Knicks announced that James Dolan, team owner and executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company, tested positive for the coronavirus.
That brought the NBA’s number of coronavirus cases to at least 15.
Gobert and his Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell are among those who have recovered after having tested positive, along with the Detroit Pistons’ Christian Wood, the Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart, as well as two unidentified Los Angeles Lakers.
NBA players aren’t sure whether they will receive their full April 15 paychecks. Teams are not obligated to pay the full amount due to an emergency clause in their contracts. A league source said players are being told to be aware of a possible reduction in their paychecks up to 25%.