Governor Andrew Cuomo contemplating sports’ return to New York

Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. (Photo: Reuters)

While New York waits for the return of normalcy amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo provided an intriguing update on the future of sports in the Big Apple and Buffalo.

During his Sunday press conference, the New York State Governor mused aloud about the sports coming back to the city earlier than anticipated.

“If players could get paid more than staying home, and owners could get some revenue versus total shutdown… why not?” Cuomo asked. “I’d love to watch.”

Major North American sports leagues were put on the backburner beginning on March 11, when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The NBA quickly postponed play, a decision that was followed closely by the NHL, MLB, and MLS.

While the NBA and NHL search for a way to effectively finish the last bit of regular-season games before a potential postseason, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day could be coming in July. All hypothetical returns, however, would feature games being played at neutral sites that weren’t hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

New York, obviously, is not on an immediate shortlist of destinations for such an undertaking considering it is the hot spot in the United States.

As of Sunday afternoon, New York had 282,143 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 22,376 deaths — most by far among any other American state or territory.

Cuomo, however, has been in touch with sports owners to discuss how athletics can return to New York, which would most likely bar fans from attending initially.

No concrete ideas have come, as of yet.

“I don’t know. If you can make the economics work without ticket sales and have television revenue,” Cuomo wondered. “We’re in a different place. Be creative figure it out.”

In the state of New York alone, there are nine professional sports teams — seven in New York City (Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Nets, Islanders, Rangers, NYCFC) and two (Sabres, Bills) in Buffalo. The Giants, Jets, and Red Bulls play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.