Several weeks have passed without professional sports and any semblance of normalcy throughout society as the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
When Major League Baseball cancelled all remaining Spring Training games last month and delayed the start of the 2020 season, the hope was that would come April 6. However, in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending gatherings of 50 or more people not be held at least through May 10, MLB pushed the season back a second time.
MLB has made it clear they are taking cues from health officials and will make decisions accordingly. The MLS, NBA, NHL and NFL are among the seasons that remain indefinitely suspended.
President Donald Trump held a conference call with commissioners and top executives from the professional sports leagues, and reportedly conveyed a belief the NFL season will begin on schedule.
California Governor Gavin Newsom later addressed the possibility, both in terms of the NFL and sports as a whole in the state, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski:
California Governor Gavin Newsom addressed whether he believed that the NFL season would open in August or September with 80,000 fans, telling reporters Saturday, “I’m not anticipating that happening in this state.”
“It’s interesting, I have a lot of friends that work in Major League Baseball and in the NFL, they’ve been asking me — in fact, a well-known athlete just asked me, a football player, if he expects to come back. I said, ‘I would move very cautiously in that expectation,'” Newsom said.
“So look, I’m not here to second-guess anybody, but I am here to say this, our decision on that basis, at least here in the state of California, will be determined by the facts, will be determined by the health experts, will be determined by our capacity to meet this moment, bend the curve and have the appropriate community surveillance and testing to confidently determine whether that’s appropriate. And right now I’m just focused on the immediate, but that’s not something I anticipate happening in the next few months.”
If the Los Angeles Dodgers are unable to play at Dodger Stadium, they may very well find themselves back at Camelback Ranch. MLB reportedly is considering localizing the regular season at Spring Training facilities in Arizona and/or Florida.
However, it ultimately unfolds, recent weeks has already proven matters can quickly change and forecasting can prove futile. “I don’t think anybody can say anything with certainty right now. About anything,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said last week.
“Things are seemingly changing by the day and I think with the safer at home (order), we obviously all get the benefits of that. By us all doing that, I’m optimistic of where that will lead but I don’t think anybody is looking too far out right now with any bold proclamations.”
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