California and Texas announce pro sports could return without fans at the end of the month, and New York is not far behind

  • Texas and California are targeting June to resume live and professional sports, as states look to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also suggested he’d like to see pro sports return, though he did not give a specific date.
  • The announcements come as some leagues have discussed return dates, while others have reopened practice facilities.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Live sports appear to be on the horizon, with Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday announcing tentative return dates after virtually all sports were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Abbott said Texas is moving into Phase 2 of reopening businesses, saying professional sports could reopen, without spectators, on May 31. Newsom said California is targeting the first week of June to welcome back professional sports.

“Pro sports in that first week or so of June without spectators and modifications and very prescriptive conditions also can begin to move forward … if we hold these trend lines in the next number of weeks,” Newsom said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also said he would like to see live sports return, though he did not specify a date.

“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,” Cuomo said. He added that they will “fill a stadium” once it’s possible.

Pro sports leagues have been suspended since March due to COVID-19. The NFL has continued with their usual offseason schedule, holding events like the draft remotely.

The announcement comes as several of the leagues have had discussions about how to open up or resume their seasons. NBA teams in some cities have reopened their practice facilities for players to engage in individual, socially distant workouts. MLB, though tied up in a payment dispute, has discussed a July start to the season. And NFL recently released its schedule for the 2020 season, suggesting the league intended to start in the fall.

The go-ahead from state governments does not ensure sports will return, however. In the NBA’s case, figuring out a plan of how to keep players healthy and quarantined, while also obtaining the necessary number of tests, has been a big hurdle in returning.