Abbott sets date for return of professional sports in Texas

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Photo Credit: Amna Ijaz | Daily Texan Staff

Select professional sports are allowed to return to Texas without spectators on May 31, Gov. Greg Abbott announced in a Monday press conference.

The sports allowed to return include professional golf, auto racing, baseball, softball, tennis, football and basketball, Abbott said. Youth sports are also set to reopen. Parents will be allowed at these events, but Abbott urged those in attendance should follow social distancing guidelines.

“Our goal is to find ways to coexist with COVID-19 as safely as possible,” Abbott said. “That includes continuing these safe practices (we’ve) already adopted.”

Abbott’s announcement comes as other states, such as California and New York, begin to reopen sports and as Texas continues efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state. It also comes two months after the NCAA canceled all remaining winter and spring sports championships amid coronavirus concerns.

As the pandemic persists, the status of the 2020 college football season, as well as other collegiate sports seasons, is uncertain. Athletic directors and conference commissioners across the country are still in the process of developing a proper plan for the 2020 college football season, which is scheduled to kick off Aug. 29.

Abbott made no mention of collegiate athletics in his Phase 2 reopening announcement, but for programs such as Texas Football, these new developments could be forward progress.