Texas, California, New York Reveal Initial Plans For Sports To Resume

It’s been two long months since professional sports leagues in the United States paused their seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but states are slowly beginning to allow athletics to resume.

New York, California and Texas are the latest states to announce plans for allowing sports to restart. But it won’t happen right away in any of the three circumstances.

Texas governor Greg Abbott on Monday announced sports leagues can reopen beginning May 31. This includes youth sports camps, little league and professional sports alike. Fans will not be permitted at professional events, though parents will be permitted to watch their children’s events so long as they practice social distancing.

California governor Gavin Newsom made a similar statement Monday, noting professional sporting events might begin resuming “in the first week or so of June.” There are, however, a number of guidelines leagues would have to follow, including holding fanless events as well as “modifications and very prescriptive conditions.”

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“We expect if we hold the rate of transmissions, we hold the positivity rate down and we continue to do justice to the hospitalization and ICU numbers that we’ll be making announcements statewide, not just with the regional variances…” Newsom said.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, said he’s encouraged major sports teams in his state to begin preparing plans for reopening — without fans, of course. Cuomo says the state is willing to help franchises if need be, though an official return date has not been released.

“Hockey, basketball, baseball, football — whoever can reopen. We’re a ready, willing and able partner,” Cuomo said Monday during his daily press briefing. “… I think this is in the best interest of all the people and is in the best interest of the state of New York.”

Florida and Arizona already have lifted restrictions on professional sporting events.

Boston mayor Marty Walsh has also said he’d consider allowing professional sports to resume in the city as long as fans are not permitted at events. Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, however, wouldn’t say much about the issue Monday when he announced the state’s phased reopening plan.

Adding three major markets like New York, California and Texas back to the mix is pretty big news for fans and sports leagues alike. And it is a major step toward a sense of normalcy as the coronavirus pandemic continues nationwide.

While it won’t happen right away, it’s just comforting to know sports are on their way back.

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Thumbnail photo via Jonathan Dyer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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