Major Professional Sport Leagues Layout Plans To Resume Games

After months of sports season suspensions, professional leagues are trying to figure out how to kick things back into gear.

Teams across various organizations are beginning to reopen their practice facilities for individual players to train. Leagues are in talks to resume their seasons, albeit under very different circumstances. And while sports are unlikely to look the same for a while, it appears that things are moving along.

Here’s where each of the leagues stand on reopening.


– The NFL held a two-hour league virtual meeting on May 19. Among the topics discussed included health and safety — including the opening of NFL training facilities, which some teams have done.

– NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills was asked on a conference call with reporters last Tuesday following the meeting about a potential date on when players could return for mini camps. Sills said the league was “not putting dates on the calendar at this point” because testing availability and reliability was not yet at a satisfactory level.


– The Brooklyn Nets are reopening their practice facility on Tuesday. The move comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that professional sports leagues across the state are free to permit athletes to return for training.

– NBA teams in states or cities that have relaxed guidelines were allowed to resume player workouts as of May 8. A maximum of four players can work out at a time and coaches are prohibited from being at the facility.

ESPN reports that there will be a Board of Governors meeting this Friday to discuss plans on how to proceed with the season, including recalling players to their markets around June 1. CNN Sports has reached out to NBA for confirmation.

– The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are in talks with The Walt Disney Company about resuming the 2019-2020 season in late July at one of its facilities.


– The Tampa Bay Rays are one of the few Major League Baseball teams to open up their game-day stadium for players to begin individual workouts. Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, saw more than a dozen players, working out in groups of two, take to the field on Monday.

– The Houston Astros also opened Minute Maid Park in Houston on Monday, along with their spring training site in West Palm, Florida. Other teams have also opened up their spring training facilities.

– The MLB and MLBPA are set to meet Tuesday. The league is planning to propose an alternative proposal to the players in regards to salary, according to The Athletic. CNN Sports has reached out to MLB for confirmation.

– MLB owners have finalized a plan that may allow the 2020 season to start on Fourth of July weekend, according to multiple outlets, including the New York Times and ESPN.

– Owners and league management have agreed upon an 82-game regular season, down from the traditional 162 games, according to the reports.

– Spring training will begin in early to mid-June, and games would resume in early July in ballparks without fans, as long as state legislation and health officials allow, reports say.


– The New York Red Bulls, New York City FC and the Montreal Impact, are the latest clubs to receive clearance to return to training fields for the start of voluntary individual workouts. They join 19 other MLS teams that have done so.

– It’s the first training of any kind at club facilities since MLS instituted a full team training moratorium following the suspension of league play on March 12. That moratorium is currently set to run through June 1. Matches are suspended until at least June 8.

– All player workouts are voluntary and must be conducted in compliance with detailed health and safety protocols created in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts.


– The National Women’s Soccer League opened their nine team facilities for small, individual group training. Clubs are allowed to hold full team practices beginning on Saturday.

– The NWSL season was supposed to begin on April 18. Yahoo! Sports reported that the league was on the cusp of announcing a tournament-style start to its season at the end of June.

– When asked by CNN for comment, NWSL said it would “share info when available.”


– NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to announce a 24-team playoff format on Thursday afternoon in hopes of resuming the 2019-2020 season, according to The Journal News.

– The NHL has said it was aiming to reopen team facilities in early June in an effort to restart the season, though it did not yet give a specific date.

– A “Phase 2” return to sport protocol outlined in a league memo on Sunday allows small groups of players to use home team facilities and ice. A maximum of six players will be able to train and skate together at a time. Players are to wear face coverings except while on the ice or exercising, and coaches are not allowed to participate in on-ice sessions.

– The 22-page memorandum outlines cleaning and disinfecting requirement and includes a checklist form for team staff to utilize.

Premier League

– The English Premier League could announce a return date by the end of this week, according to Sky News.

– Clubs are expected to agree on Wednesday to introducing phase two of training, which would allow close-contact training in groups of up to 12 players, Sky News reported.

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