• New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said professional sports could host and televise games with no fans and the state was willing to help
  • New York joins Florida, Nevada, and Arizona as states pushing to host pro sports as the U.S. begins reopening
  • Major League Baseball has pushed hosting the 2020 season in Arizona while the UFC, WWE, and AEW have held events with no fans in Florida

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo encouraged professional sports teams Monday to begin seasons in the state without fans and that the state was willing to help if necessary.

Cuomo spoke about sports during a visit to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, as part of his daily coronavirus briefing.

“New York state will help those major sport franchises to do just that,” Cuomo told reporters. “Hockey, basketball, baseball, football, whoever can reopen we’re a ready, willing and able partner. I think this is in the best interest of all the people and in the best interest of the state of New York. And then they’ll be up and running and when we can fill a stadium again, we can fill a stadium.”

Cuomo said he understands that professional sports returning depend entirely on whether or not teams can still make money despite the loss of ticket revenue. However, games could still be televised and the money teams make from TV and ad deals may be enough to mitigate that loss.

“But why wait until you can fill a stadium before you start to bring the team back? And if you can televise it in the meantime, great,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo wasn’t shy about admitting his own personal desire to see the NFL return so he could watch the Buffalo Bills.

“I’m acting as governor, there’s no personal agenda here. Yes, I do want to watch the Bills, but that is not subverting my role as governor,” Cuomo said.

This has put New York up alongside Florida, Arizona, and Nevada as states pushing to potentially host professional sports as the U.S. begins to reopen. Major League Baseball has previously floated the idea of moving all teams to Arizona to play the 2020 season, with teams remaining in self-quarantine at sanitized hotels between games and being tested regularly. However, it has not appeared to gain any traction.

Florida has been the only state to have sports start up again after naming it an “essential service” in April. The UFC jumped on this opportunity, holding three fight cards in one week. WWE and AEW have also continued filming their weekly shows in Orlando and Jacksonville, respectively.

The MetLife Stadium is billed as the greenest sporting stadium in the country. Creative Commons