LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Fans at Dodger Stadium and other Southern California ballparks could be back for Opening Day – at limited capacity – if current coronavirus trends hold, officials said Wednesday.
During a visit to Long Beach, Gov. Gavin Newsom said state officials are in “advanced conversations” with Major League Baseball and local health authorities across the state to get fans back in the seats of outdoor stadiums when baseball season begins.READ MORE: Southern California Real Estate Market Cools Off In Fall
Newsom cited a downward trend of COVID-19 positivity rates and in hospitalizations over the past two weeks, along with a 42% drop in ICU hospitalizations.
“We are stabilizing,” he said, adding, “We have confidence that when you think forward, look forward to April opening day, where we are likely to be if we all do our job, if we all do our job and we don’t let down our guard and spike the ball — wrong sport, but you get the point. Then I have all the confidence in the world fans will be back safely in a lot of those outdoor venues.”READ MORE: 'If You Don't Get Vaccinated, Don't Visit': Mayor Of West Hollywood Calls For Proof Of Vaccination For Business Entry
No additional details were offered in regard to a return to sporting event attendance.
The governor made similar overtures last summer when he suggested California could begin holding sporting events without fans by early June, again citing current trends in COVID-19 data. No such move ever materialized as case numbers spiked shortly afterward.
California sports fans have not been able to attend sporting events since the pandemic began.MORE NEWS: One Killed, Four Injured In El Monte Shooting
The Dodgers’ home opener is set for April 9 against the Washington Nationals, while the Angels will make their debut at home April 1 against the Chicago White Sox.