Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti says it would be ‘very difficult to see’ major sports in the city until 2021

Just one day after the Trump administration announced it wanted to bring live sports back, the city of Los Angeles, which has at least one team in each of the country’s four major sports leagues, is reportedly planning on not having any live sports until next year. A report from the Los Angeles Times reveals that an internal Los Angeles Fire Department email has the city holding off on mass gatherings until 2021.

The email the LA Times obtained was a summary that Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas wrote about a meeting he had, along with other high-ranking city officials, with Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti. While an LAFD spokesman told the paper that Terrazas was “paraphrasing information he received from the mayor regarding possible scenarios for reopening timelines across a range of events,” Garcetti spoke to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, and seemed to confirm the information in the report.

This, of course, removes two NFL teams (Chargers and Rams), two NBA teams (Lakers and Clippers), an MLB team (Dodgers) and an NHL team (Kings) from potentially participating in a season during this calendar year with fans. The justification Garcetti gives is that he does not want these large gatherings to happen before some sort of vaccine or another solution that stops the spread of COVID-19 is created.

It’s worth noting that the mayor did not rule out sports coming back without fans, though it’s hard to imagine that possibility playing out as sports tend to contradict messages of social distancing — particularly ones with a fair amount of contact.

Three of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States — MLB, the NHL and the NBA — have suspended their seasons as a result of the rapid spread of COVID-19. The NBA was the first to announce its suspension after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the respiratory disease that has become a global pandemic. Each league has expressed different expectations for when they plan to return.

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