On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state is on track to have sports return in just a few short weeks. In an address to the public, Newsom said that professional sports could come back to California in early June, though without any fans present, and with “modifications and very prescriptive conditions.”
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
It goes without saying that that timeline is contingent on California continuing to see progress in its fight against the coronavirus. Newsom provided some optimistic statistics, showing that the state is trending in a good direction in terms of impact caused by the virus.
NEW: Over the last 14 days, CA has seen:— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 18, 2020
- 7.5% decline in hospitalizations.
- 8.7% decline in the number of ICU patients statewide.
California has had some of the strictest measures and laws regarding social distancing and self isolation in light of the coronavirus pandemic. That has resulted in some encouraging statistics, but those trends need to hold, or else the reopening of sports — and other businesses — will likely be pushed back.
Between those strict regulations, and the fact that the state has four NBA teams, California opening its doors to sports bodes well for the return of the NBA. It’s unclear if the Golden State Warriors will be included in any season resumption, or if the league will jump straight to the playoffs (Golden State has already been eliminated), but The Athletic’s Anthony Slater noted that June 1 was the day that the Warriors were tentatively planning on reopening their practice facility for players.
Gavin Newsom at his presser this afternoon: "Sporting events, pro sports, in that first week or so of June -- without spectators and (with) modifications and very prescriptive conditions -- can also begin to move forward." Warriors have anticipated a June 1 reopening of facility.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 18, 2020
There hasn’t been a professional sports contest in California since March 11, but we’re inching closer. We don’t know if or when the NBA will resume play, but Monday’s news at least offers some reason for hope for California sports fans.