California Governor Gavin Newsom has made it clear that he doesn’t envision football or any other sport starting up any time soon with fans in attendance.
In announcing a preliminary plan to reopen the largest economy in the country within the next few weeks, Newsom noted that mass gatherings won’t be allowed in his state until there’s herd immunity or a vaccine available.
Newsom’s press conference on Tuesday also indicated that widespread social distancing will still be needed once the state does in fact open up. That includes patrons at restaurants and bars being six-plus feet apart, the current guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Schools are unlikely to reopen until a vaccine is created and available in a widespread fashion.
This is the clearest suggestion yet that any college football or NFL season taking place in 2020 would have to happen without fans in attendance in the state of California.
The NHL and NBA are already facing an uphill climb to avoid canceling their seasons. Meanwhile, MLB has struggled to find a realistic plan to start its season. All three entities would be impacted big time by California’s plan to reopen.
A total of 24 of the NFL’s 256 games (about 10%) scheduled for next season are set to take place in the state of California. There’s a chance that the Rams, Chargers and 49ers either play in empty stadiums are look at new venues outside of the state. Both Los Angeles teams could technically play in Arizona with the 49ers potentially looking at the Raiders’ new venue in Las Vegas.
That’s all conjecture at this point. What we do know is that states will likely ultimately decide when things go back to as normal as possible with the virus itself obviously playing a large role.