California Gov. Gavin Newsom says sporting events without spectators could begin in June

People sit on a hill overlooking Dodger Stadium on what was supposed to be Major League Baseball’s opening day, now postponed due to the coronavirus, on March 26, 2020 in Los Angeles.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday that the state could allow professional sporting events to reopen without spectators as early as the first week of June. 

Newsom also said that the state could alter its state-wide stay-at-home order to allow in-store retail. He said the additional reopening is conditioned on California’s ability to hold the rate of Covid-19 transmissions steady and no additional stress is added to hospitals and intensive-care units.

The Golden State governor has granted local jurisdictions the authority to adopt the state’s phased reopening plan, which has already lifted statewide restrictions on curbside retail pickup and manufacturing jobs, among others.

Some counties in California could move faster into the phased reopening process if they’re able to meet certain health criteria, such as low rates of hospitalizations, infections and adequate testing and contact tracing, he said. 

“Now we are broadening the pace to which people can enter into phase two and begin the process of making subsequent decisions to move more broadly into other sectors of our society,” Newsom said.

For instance, he said LA County has been in a different position than more rural parts of the state and can decide to “move at their own pace based upon their own local conditions.” 

San Francisco’s Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax announced earlier on Monday the city would allow its retail stores to offer curbside pickup, although places of worship, theaters, personal care providers and restaurants are at least a month away from reopening.

Stage 4, the final stage in the state’s reopening plan, would allow for large gatherings to resume, such as concerts and sporting events, Newsom said earlier in May. However, he indicated that stage would occur once a vaccine is developed and made available. 

Earlier on Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’s asked major league sports teams to start planning to reopen or start their seasons without fans, adding that the state is willing to help. 

Although the NBA hinted at resuming its season in cities like Orlando, Florida, or Las Vegas, decisions regarding cites for NFL and MLB games are still being discussed while plans are still emerging about a possible 24-team format for restarting the NHL

— CNBC’s Hannah Miller and Jabari Young contributed to this report. 

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