Sports Impeded After Los Angeles’ Stay-at-Home Order Extendedby gcincinnato May 13, 2020 0 comments
On Tuesday, Barbara Ferrer, the Public Health Director of the Los Angeles County, stated that “with all certainty,” Los Angeles will be extending the county’s stay-at-home order for the next three months.
This announcement came shortly before governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state’s stay-at-home orders would be modified to allow individual counties to reopen shopping malls and centers for curbside pickup only. He is also planning to reopen beaches but only for active recreation such as surfing, running, walking, and swimming.
Unlike other counties, Los Angeles, which has the state’s highest population, has had a continuous rise in confirmed cases and deaths.
Based on a Los Angeles Times report, 95 percent of the state’s population lives in counties where the trend is not well enough to begin reopening. Newsome has been planning to reopen the state as a whole in broad terms to begin to kickstart the state economy that has been crushed by the pandemic. This strong push could make matters worse as it seems the governor is trying to reboot his state too fast.
But now, the big question surfaces: where do sports come into the mix?
By looking at the stats, as well as the extended stay-at-home order, the future of sports in Los Angeles in 2020 seems very bleak. In the Greater Los Angeles Area alone, there are a total of eight teams that participate in the major four sports:
NHL: Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings
NBA: Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers
NFL: Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers
MLB: Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers
The NBA and MLB had discussions Tuesday with their respective Players Associations to discuss the possibilities of returning to play.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the NBA sent out texts to all of the players in attempt to see if they would agree to play the season out. If not, the season would potentially be cancelled.
National Basketball Players Association regional representatives started texting NBA players today with a 'yes or no' question it says will be kept confidential: Do you want to try and play again this season? The union's trying to gauge broader sentiment of its 400-plus players.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 12, 2020
If the season were to go on, there would be no games played in Los Angeles within the next three months or potentially longer as trends continue to increase in the county. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers were destined for the playoffs this season. With things the way they are, no L.A. team will be able to play in their home arena. This could play a major factor in whether or not the players will want to return or just wait until next season when they can play in front of fans.
Developmental leagues such as hockey’s AHL have already cancelled their seasons.
Regardless of what will happen, if any season were to continue, there will be no fans in the stands. But would a team with home-field or home-court advantage want to sacrifice that if they believed that advantage could make the difference in moving on to the next round in a playoff series? Most likely not.
Leagues have been looking at participating in two neutral sites as opposed to playing in all home fields and arenas. This could be one of the only moves in bringing sports back to America, but plans to group an entire league of athletes into two cities could cause even more issues and become costly as all players will need to be tested daily.
Plans to resume the four sports were certainly in motion at the beginning of the day, but this extended stay-at-home order in one of the biggest sports hubs in the United States, and arguably the world, has potentially thrown a very big wrench in those plans.