Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases now often at President Donal Trump’s side during his daily coronavirus press briefings, believes there is a way for sports to return as soon as this summer.
Fauci told Snapchat’s Peter Hamby that there would be a list of conditions that would have to be met first, suggesting that there is a light at the end of the non-sporting tunnel.
“There’s a way of doing that,” Fauci said. “Nobody comes to the stadium. Put [the players] in big hotels, wherever you want to play, keep them very well surveilled. … Have them tested every single week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family and just let them play the season out.”
This is a concept that has been discussed by several of the major pro North American sports leagues in recent weeks.
Most notably, Major League Baseball was discussing the idea of taking all 30 teams and having them play in the numerous ballparks of Arizona with no fans.
On Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred pumped the brakes on the idea, stating that it was just that — an idea — rather than a plan.
“We have a variety of contingency plans that we have talked about and worked on,” Manfred said. “Plans may be too strong a word. Ideas … may be a better word. All of them are designed to address limitations that may exist when businesses restart – travel limitations, limitations on mass gatherings that may still exist. We thought about ways to try and make baseball available to all the fans across the United States in the face of those restrictions.”
The NHL was also reportedly considering North Dakota as a neutral-site option to play out the remainder of its regular season while the NBA initially had eyes on Las Vegas.
On Tuesday, President Trump announced that he would enlist a 200-plus-person group of advisers that would help create a plan to re-open the United States for business.
In that group is NBA commissioner Adam Silver, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“We have to get our sports back. I’m tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old,” Trump said during the Tuesday briefing. “But I haven’t actually had too much time to watch. I would say maybe I watch one batter then I get back to work.”