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California governor does not anticipate allowing fans in stadiums by start of football season

President Trump meets with sports leaders ahead of Saturday briefing
Posted at 3:02 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 18:43:10-04

As President Donald Trump met with leaders from major sports leagues on Saturday that have been largely shuttered to help stop the spread of COVID-19, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he does not anticipate that football stadiums in his state will be filled with fans come the start of fall.

This comes as current recommendations from the CDC call for gatherings of 10 or more to be curtailed into May. Newsom's comments stood in stark contrast from Trump, who said stadiums and arenas would reopen "sooner rather than later."

"I’m not anticipating that happening in this state," Newsom said when asked if stadiums will be filled with fans in August and September. "We have all seen the headlines the last couple of days in Asia where they were opening certain businesses and now they're starting to roll back those openings because they are starting to see some spread as a boomerang. One has to be very cautious here, one has to be careful not to over promise."

Newsom said he isn't making a decision that far out, but added he'll be guided by facts and health experts.

Meanwhile,Trump met with the leaders from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, WWE, PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, UFC, WNBA, IndyCar and Breeders Cup.

"These are all the great leaders of sport, and they want to get back," Trump said on Saturday. "They got to get back. They can't do this. Their sports weren't designed for it. The whole concept of our nation wasn't designed for it. We're going to have to get back We want to get back soon, very soon."

According to a White House spokesperson, Trump recognized the good work being done by many teams and players to care for their communities, workforces, and fan bases across the nation.

The spokesperson said the commissioners thanked Trump for his leadership and for his interest in the sports industry.

Around the middle of March, most of the aforementioned leagues decided to shutter operations amid the spread of the coronavirus. On March 11, the NCAA announced that it would play NCAA men's and women's basketball tournament games without fans. But the dominoes quickly fell after that.

Later that night, Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 moments before tipoff in an NBA game between the Jazz and Thunder. That game was postponed and later that night, the NBA announced it was suspending play.

The next day, the NHL and MLB suspended play, and the NCAA canceled its remaining championships for the 2019-20 academic year.

While most leagues have suspended operations, the WWE has continued operations by conducting wrestling matches in front of no fans. WWE's signature annual event WrestleMania will air this weekend. Rather than being aired live before a packed stadium, WrestleMania was prerecorded in front of no spectators.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering