As America's pro sports leagues grapple with when and how to return to action after the shutdown sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, the governor of Arizona has cleared the way for competition there.
Governor Doug Ducey said on Tuesday that professional leagues would be welcome to resume operations - with limitations - in Arizona after Friday, when the state's stay-at-home order expires.
"We have had discussions with leaders with some of these leagues, and they all know they are welcome to operate, play and perform in the state of Arizona," Ducey said at a press conference, adding that games would have to be played without fans in the stands and teams would have to follow protection protocols to curb potential spread of the deadly virus.
Derrick Hall, president of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, told The Arizona Republic he was "pleased to hear the governor's comments on the state's willingness to allow sporting events in a controlled environment."
Major League Baseball owners and players are in discussions on how to open a 2020 season that has yet to begin.
Owners have reportedly presented players with a proposal to start the season in early July in ballparks without spectators.
It remains to be seen if players will climb on board or reject the plan due to safety concerns or disagreement over compensation in the shortened season.
The NBA and NHL shut down their seasons in March and are wrestling with how they might resume campaigns that would normally be approaching their finale.
The NFL has announced plans to start its 2020 season on schedule in September, but pre-season preparations have been disrupted and team facilities ordered closed amid social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders - which vary in different states and even in different counties.