Reopening some activities and businesses in North Texas does not yet include professional and collegiate sports.
When they do resume, fans will not be part of the action at first. And the size of crowds at the State Fair of Texas in September may still be a concern.
That is the take away from three top sports executives who spoke to a Dallas City Council committee Thursday.
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They are hoping to resume some games soon.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the National Basketball Association has granted approval to reopen practice facilities.
“But, and it's a huge but, only one player at a time,” Cuban said.
The American Airlines Center might not be the location for games when they resume. There could be neutral sites where players and coaches use hotel rooms.
The Mav’s owner has also been involved in national efforts to chart a path for reopening the economy. He said many small issues to make people feel more comfortable have yet to be addressed. Distancing requirements like the 25% occupancy limit for Texas restaurants may not allow for profit.
“We’re getting quarantine fever and we want to get out, but I’ve really been pushing people to do the math and do all the calculations from a small business perspective,” Cuban said.
Brand new Globe Life Field in Arlington is like a Christmas present you are not allowed to use, according to Texas Rangers co-owner Neil Liebman.
Baseball is also not expecting games with fans at first, but Liebman said team owners have heard from political leaders who want to see players on the field again.
“We need to have some normalcy back in the society. Baseball is the All-American sport. It would be great to get baseball started, especially for the July 4th weekend. I don't have any timing for you, but that's certainly my goal,” Liebman said.
Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby mentioned concerns about the size of crowds at the State Fair of Texas where Texas and Oklahoma face off each year, along with other collegiate football games.
“It's up to all of us to ponder together how you go about doing that in a safe environment. If ever there was a place where you come into close contact with people it's in that sort of an environment,” Bowlsby said. “This is the hand we're dealt and we're all going to have to figure out what the new normal looks like, and do it as safe as we possibly can.”
State Fair of Texas spokesperson Karissa Condoianis responded with an e-mail statement:
“Unless any orders are in place by local, state, or federal agencies, or health and safety concerns exist, the State Fair of Texas will plan on welcoming guests as usual while implementing all preventive measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other relevant health agencies. The State Fair of Texas already maintains very high standards for cleanliness, which assists with illness protection, and we have numerous safety protocols in place. Nevertheless, we are planning to implement additional safety measures to help prevent the spread of illness.”
“Despite the uncertainties we all face during this time, we look forward to September and having Big Tex welcome everyone to the most Texan place on Earth. However, you can rest assured the State Fair of Texas will do what is right for the health and wellness of our community-at-large.”