Diamondbacks' president 'pleased' with Arizona governor allowing sports to resume

Sporting News

The Diamondbacks welcomed Arizona's announcement that professional sports can resume in the state without fans beginning Saturday.

Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday opened the door for sports to return to the state, albeit behind closed doors.

"We have had discussions with leaders with some of these leagues, and they all know they are welcome to operate, play and perform in the state of Arizona," Ducey said. "It would be, at this point in time, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, without fans. We could do that safely in the state of Arizona beginning May 16."

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The Phoenix-based MLB franchise saw the announcement as a boost. Team president Derrick Hall said in a statement: "I was pleased to hear the governor's comments on the state's willingness to allow sporting events in a controlled environment.

"We have been in constant communication and he has consistently shown cooperation and support to us and league leadership. Both he and I have made it clear we are more than willing to be part of a solution if there is a need for us to host more teams or games."

MLB is aiming for an early-July start to its season.

The other major professional teams in Arizona responded in statements to the Arizona Republic.

The NFL Cardinals, who play in Glendale, said: "We would still need the NFL to green-light the return to team facilities and resume activities."

The NBA's Suns, based in Phoenix, said they are aware of Ducey's announcement and will continue to move forward with plans to conduct individual player workouts this weekend. The NBA has not yet decided whether to resume its season.

The NHL's Arizona Coyotes, who are also based in Glendale, said: "We are aware of governor Ducey's announcement and will await direction from the NHL." Like the NBA, the NHL is on pause and mulling whether to return.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc globally, suspending the NBA and NHL seasons and delaying the start of the 2020 MLB campaign. The United States has been the hardest country hit, with more than 1.4 million confirmed cases and more than 83,400 deaths.

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