At the end of April, California Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan with multiple stages to reopen the state.
The first stage emphasizes safety and preparedness, and it isn’t until the second stage in which lower-risk businesses are allowed to resume operations. Stage three calls for the reopening of higher-risk workplaces and environments such as live sporting events without fans.
Newsom didn’t offer a timeline on when the state would advance to this phase, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and other teams in the city are hoping its sooner rather than later.
Should Major League Baseball and the Players Association strike an agreement on a plan for the 2020 regular season, all indications point to teams being allowed to play games in their home ballparks as soon as July.
This could become problematic for California teams such as the Dodgers if the state has not yet transitioned to the third stage of Newsom’s guidelines.
Newsom, however, isn’t worried that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will make a decision in contrast to California’s reopening plan. “I talked to the commissioner of Major League Baseball, and he said, ‘We won’t do anything that’s not consistent with state guidelines,’” Newsom stated during a press briefing.
“So I’m not concerned about what they do as long as it’s consistent with state guidelines. We’ll see where we will be in July. I’m very encouraged by the progress the state of California has made to date, and we are making meaningful modifications in real time. We’ll be making subsequent announcements tomorrow as it relates to putting out the guidelines for these regional variations that can be self-attested to.
“But we certainly look forward to Major League Baseball and all sports resuming, but again, the question is when, and that will be determined on the basis of public health and public safety and the spread of this virus. And so we will see in that space.”
As for when fans may be able to attend sporting events again, recent comments by Newsom suggest that won’t be a possibility until 2021 when a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is ready.
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