Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Brings Sports Back Without Spectators

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Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced professional sports leagues will be able to resume, upon approval, starting May 31.

Abbott made the sports announcement Monday during a press conference while announcing the next phase of the state’s reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was also shared on the state’s OpenTexas website.

Youth camps and youth sports are also allowed to reopen on May 31.

The selected sports include professional basketball, baseball, car racing, football, golf, softball and tennis leagues, according to the press release. The leagues must submit an application for approval that includes a “plan that incorporates applicable minimum standard health protocols recommended by the Department of State Health Services and such additional measures as are needed to ensure a safe plan for conducting the events.”

Spectators will not be allowed at any professional sporting event. (RELATED: ‘A Wonderful Thing’: President Trump Celebrates The Return Of Sports)

The move comes after Republican Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick published an op-ed piece in the Dallas Morning News calling for sporting events to resume with fans.

His op-ed included a detailed plan that suggested stadiums only allow 30% attendance and everyone wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Here’s the bottom line — let’s end all this talk about playing in empty stadiums,” Patrick wrote. “Let the games begin with fans in the seats.”