New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that effective immediately, all professional local sports teams are now permitted to begin training camps in the state while following appropriate health protocols.
"Starting today, all the New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps (in the state)," Cuomo said during his daily coronavirus press briefing. "I believe that sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena -- do it, do it.
"Work out the economics if you can. We want you up, we want people to be able to watch sports. To the extent people are still staying home, it gives people something to do. It's a return to normalcy. So we are working and encouraging all sports teams to start their training camps as soon as possible, and we'll work with them to make sure that can happen."
As MLB and the Players Association continue negotiating toward a deal to begin a shortened 2020 season, teams have been given the option (assuming the sides reach a deal) to resume spring training in either their home city (if permitted) or spring training city.
A report on May 21 indicated that the Mets and Yankees would return to Florida for the second spring training that is expected to resume around June 10. It is unclear whether Cuomo's announcement on Sunday will alter those plans.
More important than where New York teams will train for resumed seasons is the fact that Cuomo said on May 18 that he was in favor of local teams playing games in the state without fans in attendance.
The plan if MLB reaches an agreement on resuming the season is for as many teams as possible to play in their home ballparks.
"I also have been encouraging major sports teams to plan reopenings without fans," Cuomo said on May 18. "But the games could be televised. New York State will help those major sports franchises to do just that. Hockey, basketball, baseball, football -- whoever can reopen -- we're a ready, willing, and able partner. ... If they can make the numbers work, I say great -- come back. ... Why wait until you can fill a stadium before you start to bring a team back? If you can televise it in the meantime, great."
When it comes to the Knicks, it was reported on May 22 that -- with New York not yet having eased its restrictions -- they had asked about the potential of resuming any potential training camp in the NBA's proposed "bubble" location (potentially Walt Disney World).
According to SNY's Ian Begley, nothing on the Knicks' front has changed yet. Most of the players are not in New York, while the facility remains closed. They must wait upon the NBA following the announcement.
The same goes for the NFL. Of course, the Jets and Giants are both based in New Jersey, and they are not yet allowed to begin training in their home state. However, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's policies regarding reopening have been closely aligned with Cuomo's. They must also wait on the NFL, whose guidelines at the moment is to have no players and coaches at facilities despite states opening those things up already.
Meanwhile, the Rangers and Islanders will both be part of the NHL's 24-team playoff format if the league hammers out final details. It is not yet clear where those teams will train.