New Jersey lifts restrictions on professional teams in the state

New Jersey lifted restrictions Tuesday on professional sports in the state, setting the stage for the New York Giants and Jets to host training camps at their facilities this summer.

The New Jersey Devils, New York Red Bulls and Sky Blue FC also reside in the state. They can immediately begin training and even have games, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.


The Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia 76ers also train in the state.

Murphy later added: "Where professional teams are concerned, with the facilities and resources they have to meet the demands of public health, we felt we could take that step forward."

New Jersey has been among the hardest hit areas by the coronavirus pandemic. There were 155,764 cases and 11,191 deaths as of Tuesday morning, according to the governor.

The Giants and Jets are currently conducting their offseason virtually, as dictated by league rules. Any update on whether they are able to salvage any minicamps this spring or the guidelines for training camp this summer will be dependent on the league.

Murphy recently hinted that there would be professional football at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford this year, although it would likely be without fans. The area's professional sports teams have been in constant contact about the protocols in place to protect the health and safety of the players, coaches and team personnel.


"Governor Murphy and his administration continue to guide New Jerseyans through this very difficult time. We have been in close contact with Governor Murphy's staff to comply with the state's protocols throughout. With today's announcement by the governor, we are finalizing our plans to reopen the Quest Diagnostics Training Center," the Giants said in a statement. "We will continue to have as many employees as possible working remotely. For employees who need to return to work at our facility, we expect to begin that process next week, and we will do so in a systematic and safe way that adheres to the state's guidelines and NFL protocols."

NFL teams in areas where it was permitted were allowed to reopen facilities last Tuesday. Only players undergoing rehab or therapy could return to the facility during the first phase of reopening. Coaches were not allowed, either. There was a limit -- 50% of the organization's staff and no more than 75 people -- on those returning to the building.

The Jets plan to use a phased approach.

"We are working closely with Governor Murphy's office, the league and our medical staff to establish prudent, health and safety measures for our staff and players," the team said in a statement. "Based on those guidelines, we will begin to open our facility using a phased approach at a time that is the most practical for our operations."
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