Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has expressed doubt about when sports would return.
On Monday, he had a statement that provides some hope for sports fans. Newsom said professional sports could return in California by the first week of June, but without fans.
Considering how many teams call California home, that’s significant. It also is big news for the three NFL teams in California that are still hopeful to start their season on time.
Gavin Newsom expresses optimism
Newsom mentioned pro sports possibly opening up in early June, with “modifications and very prescriptive conditions.”
“A number of other sectors of our economy will open up again if we gold these treadlines in the next number of weeks,” Newsom said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state could see pro sports return by the first week of June without fans. pic.twitter.com/j4PPg56Yn7— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 18, 2020
That is significant news, considering Newsom had been expressing skepticism about sporting events, including NFL games in the fall. Teams like Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers and the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, both championship contenders in 2020, will be interested in this news.
Newsom had previously expressed skepticism about NFL games being played with fans in the fall, and games being played at all. He said one NFL player had asked him when games would be played.
“I said, I would move very cautiously in that expectation,” Newsom said on April 4.
Will all states follow similar plan?
There are many caveats to Newsom’s statement. A spike in coronavirus cases could change things. Player concerns about safety and, yes, money will have to be addressed. And as we can see with Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson’s state-by-state breakdown, if a few states hold out, it could create havoc.
But this seems like progress. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed support for teams that want to play again, specifically the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Before Newsom’s latest statement, it seemed that teams like the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco 49ers could be looking at the possibility of no home games. That seems to be changing.
There’s a long way to go before MLB starts, the NBA continues and a few months until the NFL is scheduled to kick off. But there might be slow progress toward games returning, even without fans.
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