COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – “I don’t know.”
That was the response of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine regarding the possibility of the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds and the Ohio State Buckeye football teams playing in stadiums in front of fans this year.
Sports at all levels remain temporarily shut down throughout the state of Ohio due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeWine discussed the state of Ohio slowly returning to daily life over time but made it clear that mass gatherings, including sporting events, would be among the last to return.
“As you look at any kind of coming back that large gatherings of people are going to be the last thing that we check off the box and say, ‘OK, we should be doing that,'” DeWine said. “I think it’s not going to be what the states do only, it’s going to be what fans think is safe. What do restaurant customers think is safe? What do people who go to bars think is safe? If you go to a Reds game, do you think that’s safe? So that is our challenge and the state’s challenge is to do everything we can possible to make people feel safe and it be true that it be safer in regard to whatever activity they be engaged in.”
All professional sports leagues remain in a holding pattern across the country, including the NBA and NHL. Both of those leagues remain suspended.
Major League Baseball was not yet able to begin the 2020 season and is currently in the process of exploring options to play the season.