NEW YORK, April 27: The governor of New York raised the possibility of some major-league sports teams returning to the playing field or arena � only with no fans in the stands.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he had spoken to several sports team owners � he did not name them, but New York�s teams include the iconic Yankees baseball team, as well as football, hockey and basketball clubs � and he speculated that for some it might make economic sense to play before empty stadiums.
Cuomo made the remarks during a daily briefing on the coronavirus in his state, the hardest hit in the US by the pandemic.
He also sketched plans for slowly reopening the state�s economy, saying manufacturing and construction firms may resume working on May 15, but any easing would first take place in the north of the state where the virus has been less a problem.
But he noted that weeks of enforced confinement have taken a psychological toll on New Yorkers, and said a resumption of sports competition could help.
�We want to bring sports back, so there�s an activity that people can watch on TV,� he told reporters.
Cuomo said that while he was no expert on sports economics, some sports might earn enough in television revenues that they could make a go of it even without ticket sales.
�What sports can you do without an audience? What sports can you make work economically that you don�t have to sell a seat in the stadium or in the arena?� he asked rhetorically.
Virtually all organised sports in the country � professional and amateur � have been halted since mid-March over concerns about the risks posed when large groups of fans crowd together.
There are a few exceptions: World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been authorised to operate in Florida, where it is classified as an essential service. � AFP