Large sporting events or concerts may not be possible in the Los Angeles area for the rest of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the mayor of the nation’s second-largest city said Wednesday.
“It’s difficult to imagine us getting together in the thousands any time soon,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said during an interview.
“I think we should be prepared for that this year. I think we all have never wanted science to work so quickly. But until there’s either a vaccine, some sort pharmaceutical intervention or herd immunity, the science is the science.”
Later, Garcetti clarified that he doesn’t yet have an official timeline for when large events will be possible, but stressed he wasn’t talking about all events.
“All I know is while we don’t know the date those things will return, I know they will be sooner the more we take these actions,” he said, referring to mitigation measures such as quarantining at home and social distancing.
“I certainly would love to see some sports games and concerts later this year,” he continued, “and whether that means those are athletes playing by themselves [without live spectators] or whether that can be potentially in person. But I think we’re a long way off from huge gatherings. We are not as long away from medium-size gatherings. And we’re still today not at a place of even small gatherings.”
The restrictions could also delay the opening of SoFi Stadium, the new $5 billion Inglewood, Calif., home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, which is scheduled for this fall, ChargersWire reported. Construction on the stadium has continued despite the pandemic.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom reiterated that gatherings of hundreds or thousands of people will likely be impossible very soon based on current guidelines.
Setting a precise date for a return to many normal activities is difficult to do, Dr. Paul Simon from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health said.
“The important point is we can’t predict the future,” Simon said. “I think we have to take it week by week. … I think if we do scale back it will be in a very gradual and strategic way.”
President Trump said this week he would like to start opening up parts of the country on May 1.