California governor Gavin Newsom dropped quite the note of news on Monday when he announced if trends concerning the coronavirus pandemic continue declining in the coming weeks, the state will be willing to open up to allow professional sporting events with no fans and enhanced precautions begin as soon as the first week of June.
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
This is potentially major news, considering most assumed California would not reopen for closed-door sporting events until the fall, if at all.
This potentially opens a wrinkle regarding the mooted plan to restart MLS. In recent weeks, credible reports have claimed the league would restart in a neutral venue, most likely Orlando, in order to bypass locales where the shutdown was still in effect, allowing teams to train in Florida before holding a tournament in Orlando, then seeing if they could resume games in regular venues down the road.
But with at least some players reportedly balking at the proposal to go into a “biodome” scenario for two months or more, while also being asked to take a pay cut, if other states open on the same approximate timeline as California (if they haven’t yet), then a “biodome” situation could be shortened substantially or avoided altogether, with MLS teams reportedly pledging to take only charter flights for the rest of this year.
It’s too early to say for certain Los Angeles Football Club will be back in action in just a few short weeks, and it’s unclear if local restrictions could still block efforts to reopen sporting events behind closed doors, but this is a step that is certainly promising. Perhaps LAFC will be back at the Banc as soon as next month. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted on details when we get them.
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