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Large meetings at public events, such as sports, may remain banned in Los Angeles until at least 2021.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told a group of high-level officials on Monday that "big meetings" – including sporting events – may not be approved until next year due to the new coronavirus pandemic, As first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
"It is hard to imagine that we will be meeting by the thousands soon, so I think we should be prepared for that this year." Garcetti said in an interview on CNN on Wednesday night. "I think we all never wanted science to work so quickly. But until there is a vaccine, some kind of pharmaceutical intervention or herd immunity, science is science. And public health officials have made it very clear that we have miles and miles "walk before we can get back to those environments.
"But I hope that we can watch sporting events without the audience on TV."
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Dodger Stadium is empty during what would have been the MLB opening day on March 26. (Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports)
Garcetti's comments echoed those made by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to CNN on Wednesday.
"I have to see real and steady progress in my city, even to start thinking about relaxing some of these social patterns of distance." de Blasio told CNN. "I want to get people back to work, of course. I want to take the kids back to school. But I think it will take months to go through this whole sequence."
"And the last thing I want to do is bring 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 people together in one place. It is the exact opposite of social distance."
For Los Angeles, this could mean the opening of the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood – the future home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers – could take place in front of any fan. UCLA and USC college football games, Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, NBA Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, Los Angeles FC and Major League Soccer Galaxy, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks from NHL and the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks could be deeply affected by an edict.
A member of the Chargers had tested positive for COVID-19 and two others in the organization also showed symptoms, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. In late March, a construction worker at SoFi Stadium tested positive for COVID-19.
On Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the country's top doctors in charge of leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic, said sports returning without fans is within the realm of possibility.