Fans throughout the state celebrated Monday when Governor Newsom addressed the possibility of sports returning in June. In case you missed it, here is the clip from the public address announcement.
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
Newsom has previously stated that he didn’t see a return to live sports in California in the near future, perhaps even through the summer. In a press conference from Sacramento on Monday, he seemingly backtracked on this stance and acknowledged that there is a possibility, a strong one in fact.
While this announcement serves as clear hope that there is a path towards a return to action, there are still many factors to consider. Los Angeles, in particular, will be a city to keep an eye on.
Statewide Clearance Doesn’t Force Cities to Approve
The biggest takeaway from the press conference was that the ultimate decision to play games will come down to individual counties. Kate Folmar, the deputy secretary of external affairs for the state’s Health and Human Services agency, stated in the interview that while guidance will be provided by the state, they will not mandate individual counties to give approval.
The hope is that all five California MLB teams could play in their home stadiums this summer … but there is the possibility that individual county health officials could say no in particular areas. The virus is likely to decide. https://t.co/EaXdDktzna
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 19, 2020
This could be the difference between the Angels (Orange County) playing in their home stadium while the Dodgers (LA County) may have to look elsewhere. Each county will be allowed to decide on their own if they approve of team activities, which may create some chaos. These decisions will likely come down to how individual counties are managing COVID-19 cases.
Each Sport has Different Obstacles to Overcome
The conversations being held in each sports league have similar end goals, but vastly different paths. While the NBA is accepting of Commissioner Adam Silver to follow his best judgment, the MLB is in the midst of a battle with the Players Association over health and pay factors. Each league has individual issues to resolve, which could lead to some sports returning quicker than others.
Teams in Los Angeles have already been affected differently. The Lakers, Clippers, Rams, and Chargers have all had to wait longer than other teams to begin activities. Even if agreements can be reached in each sports league, our LA teams may have to wait longer than others to resume.
Bottom line, everyone wants to see live sports return. From the financial implications to the mental stipulations, sports returning would be a good thing all the way around. The key becomes the health and safety of all involved. If leagues and city officials can find common ground on regulations, we could see our favorite teams slowly make a comeback as soon as next month. Hopefully, leagues can begin finalizing the details in the coming weeks. It’s important to temper expectations, but things are beginning to look up.
For more of our thoughts on the subject, check out our full analysis below!
What sport are you most looking forward to returning? Let us know in the comments below!