Gov. Walz open to allowing professional sports in Minnesota

The Twins and Wild would like to have games played in the state.
Target Field

Speaking at his press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged there is a chance that professional sports could return to the state this summer and that there's a 'potential' to get something done.

“These are important parts of who Minnesota is, and I think just like all these businesses, if there’s a plan to do it, I certainly think if you’re looking in the short term, it’s not going to be with spectators but just like today, I listen to folks out there,” Walz said. “…I think there’s a potential that that’s how we’re trying to move.”

Since all leagues suspended play back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been trying to find a safe solution as "Stay at Home" orders have relaxed across the country.

Florida and Arizona are two of the states that have allowed professional sports to return and New York and Texas have also hinted they could be next although no state is willing to put fans in the seats.

In Minnesota, that could mean the return of the Wild and Twins if restrictions are loosened.

For example, Minneapolis/St. Paul is one of 10 markets vying to be a host city for a proposed 24-team tournament to determine a Stanley Cup Champion. If that tournament happens, the Wild would take on the Canucks in a best-of-five play-in series.

The Twins would also love to return with a schedule that would see them play the American League and National League Central divisions, but their situation is a little less clear as owners and players have argued over a potential pay-cut system. 

If the league does come to an agreement Twins president Dave St. Peter said via Betsy Hefland of the Pioneer Press that the team would like to play games and hold spring training at Target Field. 

There is also the desire of the NFL, which would like to play games in full stadiums this fall and are preparing to do so "unless the medical community tells [them] otherwise."

With a lot of moving parts, it's uncertain whether the state will allow sports to be played, but it's something that Walz is taking under consideration.

“We’re working with them to get going," Walz said. "So I think there’s a potential that we can do that.”

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