According to the resort's press release, "The NBA Experience" will offer "immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store."
"Wait a minute," I hear many of you asking yourselves. "Didn't I already go someplace like that on my last visit to Orlando?" Well, if you visited Universal Orlando, you did. NBA City has been showing live and classic NBA games and serving meals to visitors since it opened at Universal's CityWalk in 1999.
Of course, back then, NBA games in the United States aired on Universal's future corporate sibling, NBC. But in 2002, the league switched its games to Disney-owned ABC, which retains those rights to this day, making a presence at the Walt Disney World Resort an act of corporate synergy.
Universal Orlando has not yet announced anything about NBA City, but with its announcement this week of "NBC Sports Grill & Brew," a new sports-themed bar and restaurant at the resort, many observers expect NBA City won't be around much longer. (Update: See below.) When it opened in 1999, NBA City was intended to be the first in a global chain of NBA-themed restaurants, but it ended up becoming a, well, one-shot deal.
Disney hasn't released a specific opening date for The NBA Experience yet, noting only that "initial development work has just begun."
Update: And the other Air Jordan drops. Universal Orlando posted this to its Facebook page on Thursday morning, June 4:
Several months ago, we decided not to renew the lease for NBA City so we could create an exciting, new concept for that space. We'll announce the new concept soon – and it will join all the other great experiences we’ve opened at CityWalk. NBA City closes in late August.Tweet
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