Professional clubs can return to New York facilities: Governor

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NEW YORK: New York officials said on Sunday (May 24) that American professional sports teams can return to their training facilities in the state that was slammed the hardest of all by the coronavirus pandemic.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement, saying that sports are allowed to restart in America’s most deadly state but it will be limited to just training facilities to begin with and then only behind closed doors. There have been over 1.6 million cases and 97,000 deaths in the US, including close to 30,000 deaths in New York.

“Starting today, all the New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps,” Cuomo said during a news conference on Sunday.

“I believe that sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena – do it! Do it!”

New York is by far the hardest hit state but officials say new infections are now on the downward trend.

READ: NY governor says vaccine not only for rich, decries leadership by tweet

New York is home to several professional sports teams, with two in the NBA (New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets), three in the NHL (New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres), two in Major League Baseball (New York Yankees, New York Mets) and the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

MLB, NBA and NHL are all working on plans to start or resume their respective seasons.

“Work out the economics, if you can. We want you up. We want people to be able to watch sports,” Cuomo said. “To the extent people are still staying home, it gives people something to do.

“It’s a return to normalcy. So we are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible. And we’ll work with them to make sure that can happen.”

READ: COVID-19 deadliest in New York City’s black and Latino neighbourhoods, data shows

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 1,622,114 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 26,229 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 1,047 to 97,049.

The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states.

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