Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ready for sports’ return to state

Although safety remains his paramount concern during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is ready and eager for sports to return.

“We are longing for a sense of normalcy and a sense that we have our lives back,” Polis told The Denver Post on Thursday. “That could mean college football and pro baseball or whatever sport it is. That is a part of our lives, and as long as the players are willing to take that slightly increased risk to come back, and this all works out, then the fans will be there.

“We are ready for a baseball season and eventually for a football season. Especially in these times of high anxiety, we need our diversions and we need our sports.”

In regard to Rockies baseball, in particular, Polis believes the time has come to play ball. Major League Baseball has set a tentative return date of July 4, although many details must be worked in order for that to happen. No fans would be allowed at Coors Field or other major league parks under the current proposals.

Polis spoke with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday and came away with a sense that strong safety guidelines will be worked out. Last Friday, MLB submitted a first-draft safety proposal to the MLB Players Association in a 67-page document that details how baseball can be re-started amid the pandemic.

If a final agreement can be reached on safety issues, and if MLB and the players union can work out their financial differences, Polis is optimistic there will be a 2020 season. But, he said, both the owners and players are likely going to have to take “a financial haircut.”

“Like too many things in baseball and football and professional sports, it all comes down to money,” said Polis, who is a big baseball fan. “The players and the owners are negotiating. I think, for the fans, we are all hoping that they have a season. We want them to have a season.

“I understand both positions. I understand the players’ (side). They are playing with additional risk and it’s a shortened season and they probably know that they are going to take some haircut, and at some level it’s just not worth their time.

“And I understand the owners’ position. They are seeing a lot less revenue and they can’t possibly have that all on their shoulders. It needs to make sense for them to open the season, too. I really hope the economics get worked out. They are both going to need to take a financial haircut, but I think both the owners and the players can make money, and more importantly, we fans can have a real baseball season, however short.”

This story will be updated

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