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Governor Abbott announces some fans will soon be allowed at Texas outdoor pro sports events

Fans will be allowed at limited capacity at pro sporting events; Rule does not include college, high school sports

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - APRIL 01: An aerial drone view of Globe Life Park, the former home of the Texas Rangers MLB team, on April 01, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. The Texas Rangers were scheduled to move into the new Globe Life Field but the opening of the new facility was been postponed after Major League Baseball delayed the start of the 2020 season in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - APRIL 01: An aerial drone view of Globe Life Park, the former home of the Texas Rangers MLB team, on April 01, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. The Texas Rangers were scheduled to move into the new Globe Life Field but the opening of the new facility was been postponed after Major League Baseball delayed the start of the 2020 season in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott announced in a proclamation Thursday that he will allow some fans to attend professional sporting events starting as early as Friday.

Abbott previously declared that certain outdoor pro sports could return in June, but initially said no spectators would be allowed.

He revised that decision and this new order allows outdoor stadiums to host fans up to 25 percent of their normal capacity.

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In San Antonio, pro teams that could ideally restart under these new orders would be the San Antonio Missions, SAFC and the Valero Texas Open. An official decision from those organizations or leagues has not been made.

Professional leagues will have to apply to state health officials to be allowed to have fans. Indoor events will still be without spectators.

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IndyCar is set to open its season at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on June 6, but track president Eddie Gossage said that even under the new rule, the Genesys 300 race will still not include fans.

“Nobody wants to have the stands filled with fans more than me but we’re just not in a position to do that yet," Gossage said, noting the race will be broadcast live on NBC. “While the state will permit us to operate at 25 percent of capacity, there are still too many unanswered questions for an event that is just one week away.”

PGA Tour has previously said it plans to restart its season at Colonial in Texas on June 11-14 without fans attending.

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State health officials did not immediately respond to questions on whether any leagues or event organizers had specifically asked to be allowed to have spectators.

The state has set up several guidelines for leagues to follow, including a recommendation that spectators and employees keep at least 6 feet apart from anyone not from their household. If that is not feasible, other measures such as face coverings and sanitation protocols should be followed.

Athletes will not be required to wear masks, but the guidelines encourage them to be worn on the sidelines.

The order does not address college sports events or high school athletics.


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