California Gov. Gavin Newsom says pro sports without fans could resume by early June

Jamie Hudson
NBC Sports Northwest

There is new hope to believe professional sports might return, and sooner than some expected.

At least it seems that way on the West Coast.

During a press conference Monday, California Govenor Gavin Newsom expressed some optimism about professional sporting events returning in early June. 

He even mentioned the first week in June as a possibility while the state of California begins its re-opening process.

Sporting events, pro sports in that first or so week of June, without spectators, and modifications and very prescriptive conditions, also can begin to move forward, and a number of sectors of our economy will open up, again, if we hold these trend-lines in the next number of weeks. -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom

In previous press conferences over the last two months, Newsom has demonstrated much skepticism about the idea of sports being played in his state.

Having Newsom announce this possibility doesn't mean it will be a reality of course.

As leagues try to figure out the safest and best way to approach their seasons, we are most likely still a long ways from MLB starting, the NBA continuing and still a few months until the NFL is even scheduled to kick off.

But, these statements today are progress and it could mean that other states will follow California's lead.


Oregon will most likely follow suit due to the ‘Western States Pact' that was initially announced on April 13 between Oregon, Washington, and California. Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Newsom initially said in a joint statement that they entered the pact to work together to "ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities."

Colorado and Nevada have since joined the "Western States Pact.' So, could that mean the proposal of returning to play for the NBA at a single-site in Las Vegas be a real possibility in June?

It sounds more likely now after listening to Newsom.

If the coronavirus cases do continue to decline in California and sports are giving the green light, all eyes will most likely be on the NBA and how they proceed.

Last week, Oklahoma City Thunder guard and President of the Players Association Chris Paul told Rachel Nichols on ESPN's The Jump that the players "want to play bad."

A lot of hard conversations that have to be made, a lot of hard decisions. But with the team around us, I think ultimately we'll get to where we want to. Obviously, we want to play. Oh man, we want to play. We want to play bad. And I think that's a consensus for the guys around the league. We want it to be, obviously, as safe as possible. But the biggest thing is, we miss the game. -- Chris Paul on The Jump

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also announced Monday that his state will allow sporting events to be hosted without fans and with other safety measures in place starting at the beginning of June.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who in the latest reports last week, said the league would be making a decision on the remainder of the 2019-20 season in the next two to four weeks.    

Which fits nicely with the early June timeline. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says pro sports without fans could resume by early June originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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