Governor Andrew Cuomo is in favor of sports returning to New York state and he's ready to help make it happen.
In his daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday morning, Cuomo explained that depending on each team's financial situation, he is encouraging teams to return without fans in attendance.
"I'm very aggressive on encouraging sports teams to start and to operate without fans," Cuomo said. "This is more an economic calculus for different sports. Some sports franchises can make this work easier than others. It depends on the economics of that sport and how much is determined by selling seats in the arena or the stadium. But to the extent they can start, I encourage them to start. The state will work with them to start."
This comes just one day after Cuomo addressed inclinations to bring New York's teams back to the ice, court and field in the near future.
"Hockey, basketball, baseball, football. Whoever can reopen, we're a ready, willing and able partner," he said during Monday morning's press conference.
Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Cuomo believes that bringing sports back will be beneficial for all New Yorkers, giving the community "entertainment value" that simultaneously encourages the act of staying at home.
"When a team plays, even if there's no one in the stands, it gets broadcast and that gives people at home entertainment value, something to participate in," Cuomo said Tuesday. "Another reason frankly to stay home as supposed to going out, and staying home is good right now."
Financially, certain teams will suffer massive economic losses from playing games without fans.
Among the four major professional sports, 10 teams are located in New York. The Yankees are the most valuable franchise of the bunch, worth an estimated $5 billion according to Forbes' annual rankings.
Major League Baseball has been dormant since Spring Training was shut down in early-March and Opening Day of the 2020 regular season was subsequently postponed.
The league is presently in the midst of ongoing negotiations with the players' union, discussing MLB's latest proposal to bring baseball back in a truncated format this summer. An 82-game season with several rule changes would be featured within a blueprint that reportedly includes a myriad of safety protocols to keep everyone involved healthy.
In the meantime, New York's governor is actively encouraging teams in the state to be brought back in the near future, confirming that "New York will be a full partner" throughout the process.
"Anything we can do to make it happen and make it happen safely, we will," he said.
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