ESPN has announced that they have cancelled plans to hold several men’s college basketball tournaments at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World.

  • ESPN had planned to host eight of its 10 men’s college basketball events in Walt Disney World.
  • Those eight tournaments included:
    • The Champions Classic
    • Charleston Classic
    • Myrtle Beach Invitational
    • NIT Season Tip-Off
    • Wooden Legacy
    • Orlando Invitational
    • Jimmy V Classic
    • Diamond Head Classic
  • The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex successfully played host to the NBA when they restarted their season this summer.
  • ESPN cited challenges around testing protocols as their primary reason for cancelling their events.
  • The challenges in question refer to re-testing players who had already previously tested positive for coronavirus and been cleared.
  • Protocols for a player testing positive while in the Orlando bubble were also a key discussion post.
  • The bubble for these tournaments was expected to run from November 25 into early December, with the Champions Classic and Jimmy V Classic headlining.
  • There is still hope for those two tournaments to move another location for this season, while the other six are expected to simply resume in 2021.
  • Some of the marquee games featured in the Champions Classic include:
    •  Michigan State vs. Duke
    • Kansas vs. Kentucky
  • The Jimmy V Classic was planned to feature:
    • Baylor vs. Illinois
    • Gonzaga vs. Tennessee

What they’re saying:

  • Statement from ESPN: “ESPN Events set out to create a protected environment for teams to participate in early-season events in Orlando. Based on certain challenges surrounding testing protocols, we opted to resume these tournaments during the 2021-22 season.”