Story at a glance

  • California's encouraging coronavirus figures may allow professional sports to resume around June.
  • To continue enforcing social distancing, fans will not be included.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said that professional sports may return in June — but not their fans.

The West Coast state now joins New York, Florida and Texas as some of the states that have permitted professional sports to resume. 

The Associated Press (AP) reports that during a press conference on Monday, Newsom touted California’s positive results against the coronavirus, which is reportedly showcasing a 7.5 percent decline in hospitalizations over the past two weeks.

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Given these figures, Newsom said professional sports could return to their scheduled seasons around the “first week or so of June without spectators and modifications and very prescriptive conditions.”

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As of May 17 data, California has a total of 80,430 confirmed cases. Today, the California Department of Public Health announced a new attestation opportunity for California counties to move through Stage 2, which would open previously closed sectors of their economy “at their own pace,” pending health and safety criteria are met. 

Details on exactly how professional athletes can safely play have yet to be revealed. AP writes that Los Ángeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said she needs specifics from Newsom about how sports can be played as the state works to emerge from the pandemic.


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“I know for all of us we’d be very excited to be able to see our teams starting to get ready to play again,” she said. “I look forward to hearing from the state what the protocols are going to be and the directives to make sure that the activity is able to happen in a way that keeps everybody as safe as possible.”

Several professional sports leagues have begun planning reopening efforts. Last week, Major League Baseball (MLB) executives discussed a potential start to the season with the players’ union.

AP further notes that the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Soccer (MLS) have allowed practice facilities to reopen for limited team workouts. The National Football League (NFL) went even further, releasing its season schedule two weeks ago.


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Published on May 19, 2020