Coronavirus: D-backs welcome decision as Arizona governor clears way for sport to resume
- Arizona governor Doug Ducey opened the door for sport to return to the state, albeit behind closed doors.
The Diamondbacks welcomed Arizona's announcement that professional sport can resume in the state without fans on Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc globally, suspending the NBA and NHL seasons, while 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 over 83,400 deaths.
But on Tuesday, Arizona governor Doug Ducey opened the door for sport 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 guidelines, without fans. We could do that safely in the state of Arizona beginning May 16."
In a boost for MLB franchise the Diamondbacks, 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."
In a statement to the Arizona Republic, NFL team the Arizona Cardinals said: "We would still need the NFL to green-light the return to team facilities and resume activities."
Meanwhile, the NHL's Arizona Coyotes said: "We are aware of governor Ducey's announcement and will await direction from the NHL."