Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Announces Major League Sports Can Resume May 15

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2020

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks at a news conference regarding the latest updates on the coronavirus Monday, May 4, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

While there is still plenty of uncertainty regarding when sports can safely restart in the United States amid the COVID-19 pandemic, receiving clearance from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to play in his state will reportedly not be a problem.

On Tuesday, Anne Ryman of the Arizona Republic reported Ducey announced gyms and pools can reopen in the Grand Canyon State on Wednesday and that "Major League sports" can begin after May 15.

Ryman noted Ducey clarified the return of sports after May 15 can only be done without fans and in a limited capacity.

Arizona's guidelines stand in stark contrast to those in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Times reported Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the county's stay-at-home orders will be extended for the next three months "with all certainty."

That Arizona will allow sports in some capacity in the near future is notable because there were initial discussions about holding a shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season in centralized locations such as spring training sites in Arizona and Florida.

However, Jeff Passan of ESPN noted the proposal from the league's owners that was expected to be presented to players Tuesday calls for holding games in home stadiums in states where such a move would be allowed.

That would mean the Arizona Diamondbacks could play in Chase Field in such a scenario, although without fans present.

For many of the country's major sports such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer, the closest they are to returning is the planning stages. Rulings such as Ducey's will surely be a factor in figuring out locations to hold games, but other issues such as ensuring the safety of the players, coaches and those involved in holding games as well as the availability of coronavirus testing are also on the forefront.

The NBA, NHL and MLS seasons were suspended in March, while the 2020 MLB season has not started yet.