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Texas, California offer timelines for sports return in the next month

The two biggest states in the country are moving forward to re-open, and it is going to impact sports. We break down the latest news.

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws a pitch against the Colorado Rockies in the sixth inning with a general view of Oracle Park. John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

States have been starting re-open to a variety of economic sectors, and we are seeing momentum for the return of professional sports. On Monday, the two most populous states in the United States joined the trend.

Texas governor Greg Abbott announced the state will move into phase 2 of its recovery, and that will include allowing the return of some professional sports starting May 31st, per reporter Taylor Estes. The sports include golf, auto racing, baseball, softball, tennis, football, and basketball. There will be “special restrictions in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” which will include not allowing fans to attend games.

On the same day, California governor Gavin Newsom announced the state was on track for sports to return the first week of June without fans. He included the caveat that this is based on the continuing of positive trends the state has seen of late.

This does not mean pro sports will return immediately at those points, but it does open the door for pro competitions to get going in those states. The major team sports leagues are still sorting out their health and safety protocols for returning, as well as necessary economic impacts. It is unlikely any of the NBA, NHL, WNBA, MLB, or MLS get going by the first week of June, but if they figure out the various issues that need to be sorted out, this opens the door for them to return sooner than later.

We have not seen every state re-open or even put forth specific dates for re-opening, but California and Texas doing so are big dominos. States have been feeling the economic impact, but for sports specifically, there is a good chance discussions about relocating teams in the short term impacted the situation.