New Jersey governor announces pro sports can return for training, competition

Aerial view of MetLife Stadium
Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A aerial view of MetLife Stadium during the national anthem with a 100 yard American Flag before the start of the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the The New York Jets. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Tuesday that professional sports teams now have the green light to return to the state for training camps and competition.

The state was among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic across the United States in recent months. In New Jersey alone, there were more than 150,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 11,000 people passed away from it.

Fortunately, the state took a big step towards a return to normalcy on Tuesday by welcoming back pro teams. The decision comes at the perfect time with the NBA closing in on plans to resume the season and the NFL nearing the start of minicamps in June.

Related: Giants training camp preview

The NBA is expected to allow teams to recall players back for training by next week. Following Murphy’s announcement, the Philadelphia 76ers will be allowed to use their training facilities, which is located in New Jersey.

It also represents positive news for the New York Giants and New York Jets. The Giants’ practice facility is located in East Rutherford, while the Jets train in Florham Park. The decision also clears the way for MetLife Stadium to hold NFL games this season.

This is another step towards a return to some normalcy with sports just around the corner. The NBA could finalize plans to bring basketball back this summer and the NFL is more confident than ever that games will be played this fall. We are now one step closer to seeing athletes take the field for millions of sports fans to enjoy.