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California could have sports without fans as early as June

Provided coronavirus numbers continue to improve in the state

MLB: APR 24 ANGEL STADIUM Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We could see professional sports return to California as early as June, if the state’s coronavirus numbers continue to improve, Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press conference on Monday.

A decrease in the state in total hospitalizations and in intensive care patients prompted the governor on Monday to advance some counties in the state into the second of Newsom’s four proposed stages for reopening the economy.

“Sporting events, pro sports, in that first week or so of June, without spectators, and modifications and very prescriptive conditions, can also begin to move forward,” Newsom said. “A number of other sectors of our economy can open up if we continue these trend lines.”

The Angels are one of five MLB teams in the state.

The last sporting events in the state were held March 11. The Ducks lost to the Blues 4-2 in a game at Honda Center that ended at 9:20 p.m. PT. Just 32 minutes later, the Kings beat the Senators 3-2. That was 68 days ago, nearly 10 full weeks.

Should pro sports get the go-ahead in the state by June, that leaves plenty of time for Major League Baseball, whose discussions have mostly centered around a July restarting of the 2020 season, provided various safety protocols are in place and the players and owners can work out a deal.