California governor Gavin Newsom provided a significant boost to those looking to see sports return from the coronavirus shutdown on Monday, announcing professional sports in the state could reopen at the start of June, provided games were played behind closed doors and enhanced precautions were taken throughout.
The condition on that, according to the governor, is that the state would allow sports to restart as long as the trends concerning the spread of coronavirus continue to decline.
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
What is unclear is if the state does give the green light for sports to restart in the state, if local public health orders would also be rolled back. Santa Clara County has one of the most restrictive orders at present, was the first location in the United States to issue a stay-at-home shutdown and has previously said it’s unlikely sports would return locally before Thanksgiving. The San Jose Earthquakes haven’t even been cleared yet to begin individual training sessions.
In the meantime, credible reports have claimed MLS would return to action in a neutral venue, widely reported to be Orlando, where teams would train for a few weeks before playing in a tournament style to get back into action.
But with estimates the teams would have to be in the neutral location for two months or more without their family, and the league simultaneously asking players to take a pay cut, some players have been wary of the plan to decamp to Orlando. Perhaps if teams can get the green light to play behind closed doors at their own venues, with teams expected to travel via charter flights only for road games, maybe that will be more amenable to the players?
Time will tell, but this is at least a promising sign for those eager to see sports return. There’s no official order yet, and MLS needs to weigh in on what they plan to do here, but perhaps San Jose could be getting back into action at Earthquakes Stadium in a matter of weeks. We’ll keep you posted on developments as we learn them.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.