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Arizona governor announces pro sports can resume May 16th

Arizona made an announcement about its reopening on Tuesday that really doesn’t mean a whole lot for sports for the time being.

General view inside of the Milwaukee Brewers spring training facility, American Family Fields of Phoenix on April 07, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The governor of Arizona announced a plan Tuesday evening to replace the current stay-at-home order. The order expires on Friday, May 15th, and the state will replace it with new guidance. One notable aspect is that, “Major league sports can resume limited reopening, without fans, this Saturday, May 16.”

This weekend marks the return of NASCAR in America. The PGA Tour is scheduled to return in mid-June. For purposes of Arizona, major league sports would include the NBA (Phoenix Suns), NHL (Phoenix Coyotes), WNBA (Phoenix Mercury), MLB (Arizona Diamondbacks), and the NFL (Arizona Cardinals). The NBA and NHL are working on re-start plans for their 2019-2020 seasons. MLB is in discussions with the players’ union for a potential early July start date that would be preceded by some form of spring training. The start of the WNBA season remains unclear, while the NFL is proceeding with the hope it starts on time later this summer.

None of the four major sports are returning until June at the earliest, so this seems like PR more than anything else. And considering how spread out professional sports are, a single state is not going to be nearly enough to get things going. And considering the size and economics involved, it would be a bigger deal if a California, Texas, or New York made this kind of announcement.