Professional sports have been shut down since March, but the governors of the three most populous states in the country said on Monday that leagues could take preliminary steps toward getting back up and running.
Governors Greg Abbott of Texas, Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California each said that the teams that call their states home could begin resuming normal activity — without fans — in the near future, according to ESPN.
CNN reports that Abbott said Monday that some professional sports — including golf, outdoor racing, baseball, softball, tennis, football and basketball — could apply to host events without fans as soon as May 31. Little League Baseball and Softball was also among the sports included, but social distancing measures would be put in place.
“Our goal is to find a way to coexist with COVID-19 as safely as possible,” Abbott said on Monday.
Cuomo has reportedly asked professional sports teams in his states to plan for reopening without fans.
"Hockey, basketball, baseball, football — whoever can reopen — we're a ready, willing and able partner," Cuomo said during his daily news conference.
Meanwhile, Newsom, touting his state’s mitigation efforts, put fan-free pro sports on the table as early as the first week of June if current trends continue. Newsom cautioned that events would be subject to particular conditions and modifications, and that steps would need to be taken to protect players and support staff.
“We are moving deliberately on a phased approach,” Newsom said Monday.
The governors of Arizona and Florida have both already declared their states open for professional sports teams.