The California governor announced during his Monday afternoon COVID-19 news conference that the state's professional sports teams may resume games and associated endeavors in the "first week or so of June, without spectators."
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
Newsom clarified that this sports-related plan has not been fully fleshed out, as state leadership has to discuss the matter with county and other local officials.
The governor said that the state, which has reported 80,430 total cases of the novel coronavirus and 3,302 related deaths, has many counties that have made significant progress in combating the spread of COVID-19 and will be eligible to reopen a number of sectors in the coming weeks.
"We estimate roughly 53 of the 58 counties would be eligible to move into this phase," he said, as reported by ABC 7. He did not expound on which counties were left out of this running.
"If we hold the rate of transmissions ... we'll be making announcements statewide, not just with the regional variances, that would allow for retail not just to be pick up, but in-store retail to be loosened up."
California's possible allowance for the resumption of professional sports follows National Football League (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell's memo to the league's 32 teams last week, announcing a soft reopening of NFL facilities on May 19 "if they are permitted to do so under governing state and local regulations."
Commissioner Goodell sent this memo to teams today about reopening their facilities: pic.twitter.com/037uKybDNV— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 15, 2020
On the opposite US coast, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also announced the state's intentions to allow professional sports teams to resume operations.
"New York state will help those major sports franchises to do just that. Hockey, basketball, baseball, football, whoever can reopen, we're a ready, willing and able partner," he said during a Monday news conference, as reported by Sports Illustrated.
The state has seen a total of 351,371 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 22,729 related deaths from the contagious disease, according to the New York Department of Health.