NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that both local baseball teams, the Mets and the Yankees, will be hosting their spring training in New York instead of Florida this summer.
While an exact plan has not yet been put into place for games, Cuomo said both Major League Baseball teams have been working with health officials to come up with a plan that follows coronavirus guidelines. If a proper plan can be put in place, both teams have the potential to return their stadiums located in the Bronx and Queens.
Cuomo said that even if the teams play with no fans, it would still be beneficial for New Yorkers to be able to watch on television.
Earlier this week, the Atlantic League club announced that three teams, The High Point Rockers, Long Island Ducks and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, are working with several professional baseball clubs on a 70-game schedule plan. If the plan is put in place, the teams would begin playing in mid-July and wrap up at the end of September with a five-game championship series.
"COVID-19 has disrupted so many of the traditions New Yorkers know and love, and our inability to root for our home teams has been acutely felt all throughout this crisis," Cuomo said. "Thanks to New Yorkers' incredible efforts to slow the spread, we've determined it's possible for the Yankees and the Mets to safely conduct spring training in the state this year and are thrilled to begin reopening America's national pastime right here in New York. In a bleak time and in a season that obviously had significant hurdles to deal with, to have a spring training camp in New York is the first bit of really good news when it comes to baseball that we've had in a long time."
The governor also updated New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. New York City will enter phase two of reopening on Monday, June 22, and the Mid-Hudson region remains on track to enter phase three on Tuesday, June 23. On Friday, there were 24 deaths due to COVID-19 in New York State. Of the 68,830 tests conducted in New York State on Friday, a total of 716, or one percent, were positive.