Many things have to happen for every sports league to return after the coronavirus pandemic. Team sports have even more of an effort ahead, trying to figure out safety measures to put into place.
States are going to start to ease their restrictions on social distancing for this to happen, and some are starting to do just that. The governors of Texas, New York, and California have said that professional sports can continue in their states in the near future.
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has been positive about the ability to begin sports without spectators.
“Hockey, basketball, baseball, football — whoever can reopen — we’re a ready, willing and able partner,” Cuomo said. “I think this is in the best interest of all the people and the best interest of the state of New York.”
In more of a personal note, Cuomo added that he is ready to watch the Buffalo Bills.
Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, is also behind the idea of beginning sports without fans. He believes that this can happen in California as soon as the first week of June. This remains the case as long as the coronavirus cases continue to drop in the state.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is even more optimistic about his timeline. He believes sports can resume there around the end of May. He has also given Little League Baseball permission to resume with parental guidance on matters of social distancing.
These governors join Arizona and Florida’s political leaders in states that are willing to work with professional sports leagues.
What Sports Will Be First?
Of the professional team sports, it’s still unknown who will make the first move.
MLB owners have agreed to terms for a return and have presented this plan to the players. The 82-game season plan is highlighted by the 50/50 revenue split between the owners and the players.
The argument continues after many players have denounced their support for the revenue spilt. Tampa Bay pitcher Blake Snell even said he would sit out the entire season if this was the plan that they went with.
The NBA and NHL are in discussion of whether to continue their seasons or look forward to the next. Both have very few regular seasons left until playoffs begin. Players are adamant about the ability to still crown a winner of their sport in 2020.
Fall sports like football have a little time of planning left, but it’s approaching quickly. Their guidelines are going to be determined by the success of these other leagues and the impact of any second wave.
It’s probable they will have to begin football without spectators either, but some hope remains things will slow down in the fall.
Players are ready to return to normal, and organizations are losing money. Not to mention the endless number of businesses that are tied to the activity of live events.
Hopefully, there is a solution to many of these issues in the near future.