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California, New York and Texas governors say professional sports in their states must plan on reopening without fans

The governors of three of the nation's most populous states -- California, New York and Texas -- said Monday that professional sports can only return to thei...

Posted: May 18, 2020 3:50 PM

The governors of three of the nation's most populous states -- California, New York and Texas -- said Monday that professional sports can only return to their respective states without spectators as they outlined their reopening plans.

Professional sports leagues have ground to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, and all three states are considering how to bring games back as they navigate phased reopenings of their economies. A return of professional sporting events -- even without spectators -- will likely signal a particularly important milestone for fans by offering a semblance of a return to normalcy.

Touting California's progress in mitigating the virus' spread, Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said at a news conference Monday that professional sports could return without spectators as early as the first week in June if the current trends continue.

Sporting events in the state would be subject to modifications and prescriptive conditions, Newsom said. Leagues and local leaders would specifically have to make "deep stipulations" to protect not only the players, but their support systems as well.

"We are moving deliberately on a phased approach," he said.

Newsom's comments echo similar remarks from a fellow Democrat, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said Monday he's asked professional sports to begin planning to reopen without fans, and that the state is willing to help.

"New York state will help those major sport franchises to do just that," the governor said during his daily news conference. "Hockey, basketball, baseball, football, whoever can reopen we're a ready, willing and able partner."

"I think this is in the best interest of all the people and in the best interest of the state of New York," he added.

Both California and New York house enormous media markets as well as major sports teams. As a result, Newsom and Cuomo are among the most visible state leaders wrestling with a safe timeline to reopen their states.

And while both have been at odds with President Donald Trump at different points during the pandemic, all three have acknowledged the role professional sports teams play in the lives of many of their constituents.

Praising a live charity golf event on Sunday, the President said the return of sports would be good for the nation's "psyche."

"We want to get sports back, we miss sports, we need sports in terms of the psyche of our country," he said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that some professional sports teams in his state can apply to hold events without spectators beginning May 31-- including golf, outdoor racing, baseball, softball, tennis, football and basketball.

"Our goal is to find ways to coexist with Covid-19 as safely as possible," Abbott said Monday.

Still, Texas -- one of the first states to start reopening -- had its highest single-day increase in new cases over the weekend prompting new warnings from public health experts that relaxing social distancing measures too early could send states back to where they started.

Across the US, more than 90,000 people have now died, and more than 1.5 million people have been infected, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 875692

Reported Deaths: 16979
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2884516876
Riverside632841269
San Bernardino596961021
Orange568681409
San Diego52355853
Kern33373410
Fresno29911429
Sacramento24304468
Santa Clara23224373
Alameda22636442
San Joaquin21187484
Contra Costa18054234
Stanislaus17292391
Tulare17120275
Ventura13845160
Imperial12410335
San Francisco11877133
Monterey1102283
San Mateo10743157
Santa Barbara9588119
Merced9314152
Sonoma8810129
Kings815183
Solano700974
Marin7001124
Madera483673
San Luis Obispo398532
Placer389852
Yolo306356
Butte301250
Santa Cruz269623
Napa186614
Sutter179612
Shasta167929
San Benito140114
El Dorado12774
Yuba125310
Mendocino108921
Tehama7648
Lassen7571
Lake66315
Glenn6393
Nevada5818
Colusa5456
Humboldt5448
Calaveras33317
Amador30916
Tuolumne2494
Inyo21215
Siskiyou1840
Mono1752
Del Norte1731
Mariposa782
Plumas540
Modoc270
Trinity200
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
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Hi: 90° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 84°
Oroville
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Feels Like: 86°
Paradise
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 84°
Chester
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68° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 68°
Red Bluff
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 89°
Willows
Clear
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Hi: 91° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 84°
Hot & dry conditions are ahead for your Monday. Stronger winds will bring high fire danger back into our forecast this week. Much cooler temperatures & the potential for showers are on the way for your weekend.
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