NY governor wants to see sports teams return, even without fans

The governor of New York raised the possibility Sunday of some major-league sports teams returning to the playing field or arena — only with no fans in the stands.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said he had spoken to several sports team owners — he did not name them, but New York’s teams include the iconic Yankees baseball team, as well as football, hockey and basketball clubs — and he speculated that for some it might make economic sense to play before empty stadiums.

Cuomo made the remarks during a daily briefing on the coronavirus in his state, the hardest hit in the US by the pandemic.

He also sketched plans for slowly reopening the state’s economy, saying manufacturing and construction firms may resume working on May 15, but any easing would first take place in the north of the state where the virus has been less a problem.

But he noted that weeks of enforced confinement have taken a psychological toll on New Yorkers, and said a resumption of sports competition could help.

“We want to bring sports back, so there’s an activity that people can watch on TV,” he told reporters.

Cuomo said that while he was no expert on sports economics, some sports might earn enough in television revenues that they could make a go of it even without ticket sales. (AFP)