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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he's asked major sports teams in his state to begin planning for seasons without spectators, and the state government will do what it can to help facilitate returns to play.
"I have been encouraging major sports teams to plan reopening without fans, but the games could be televised," Cuomo said in a press conference Monday, according to NBC. "New York state would help those major sports franchises to do just that. Hockey, basketball, baseball, football - whoever can reopen, we're a ready, willing, and able partner."
While not getting the revenue that ticket sales generate will impact teams financially, Cuomo believes returns can still work without fans.
"They have to make that decision but any way we can help we would help and then we can be up and running," Cuomo said, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.
"But why wait until you can fill a stadium before you start to bring a team back? If you can televise it in the meantime, great," he added.
All major North American leagues are still trying to coordinate plans for a safe return from a pandemic-induced hiatus.
The NFL is in the midst of its offseason, but last week the league released its normal regular-season schedule set to begin in September.
The NHL and NBA, which both went on pause in mid-March, are still evaluating safety protocols and contingency plans to find a way to finish 2019-20 seasons.
The 2020 MLB campaign was shut down before it began, with spring training halted. Team owners signed off on a plan last week to begin a season in July, but they've received plenty of pushback from players since.
New York state has the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the CDC. The state is in the process of reopening its economy in different phases by region, but New York City has not yet been given clearance.