Good news for Pennsylvania sports betting! State Governor Tom Wolf’s administration has released a range of recommendations on the return of professional sports in the Keystone State.
Major League Baseball, the NHL and the NBA have all been on hiatus since mid-March and the NFL has been holding its organized team activities “virtually,” and the league’s reopening sees players beginning to participate in person mandatory mini-camps this month.
Professional sports are permitted to practice or play in the “yellow” and “green” phases without “on-site or venue spectators” as long as the franchise has a corona virus safety plan in place.
Allegheny County, which is home to the Pittsburgh sporting teams (Pirates, Steelers and Penguins) is currently in the green phase.
Philadelphia and its teams (Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and 76ers) are still in the yellow phase, however things are continually being re-assessed
Let’s examine where things stand with the 4 major sports leagues, Pennsylvania’s teams, PGA Tournaments and other sports.
NFL – Steelers and Eagles
Once Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross announced to ESPN earlier this month, that there ’will definitely be a football season this year’, Pennsylvania’s two NFL franchises have been readying themselves for action.
The Eagles and Steelers are back in training (albeit in different stages) and are expecting a full season to go ahead. It’s still unclear if fans will be permitted to attend games.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson recently said that he “is expecting to start the pre-season training camp on time”.
Major League Baseball (MLB) close to a restart
Phillies and Pirates fans can rest assured that the Major League Baseball Players Association has proposing an 89-game season that would pay players their full pro-rata salaries. Under the proposal, the MLB regular season would start July 10 and end October 11 in order to avoid an overlap with the NBA Finals.
NBA Completes Restart Plans
Philadelphia 76ers fans can’t wait for their team to be allowed to play again. The NBA recently announced pro basketball is officially on its way back and that operations will resume this summer.
NBA owners and players approved a plan that will see 22 of 30 teams—the 16 current playoff teams (including the 76ers) and the six teams within six games of their conference’s Number 8 seed—return to action for an eight-game finish to the regular season, plus a potential play-in tournament to determine the last seed in each conference.
The ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex, located within Disney World in Orlando, Florida will be the venue with the regular season beginning on July 31 and wind up with the NBA Finals by October 12.
NHL back to action from July
Flyers and Penguins fans have a lot to look forward to with both teams included the NHL’s restart plan. The first of the major sports leagues to announce their restart intentions, the league has organized a 24-team Stanley Cup playoff tournament.
There will be a qualifying round for the eight teams that normally wouldn’t have qualified for the postseason. After that, they’ll advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs before the top 4 seeds get involved.
For the record, in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers have qualified Round-Robin top 4, while the Pittsburgh Penguins will be involved in the best-of-5 Qualifying.
PGA Tour, UFC & NASCAR already back
The Tiger Woods/Peyton Manning/Tom Brady/Phil Mickelson match-up was the appetizer and the PGA Tour for real teed up again on June 11 for action at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas.
Of course, UFC and NASCAR are already back. Get ready Pennsylvania, it’s going to be a red-hot summer of top-quality sports betting action!