Professional sports teams forbidden to play in their home states shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.
Some sports leagues are mulling resuming games without fans but lockdown scenarios in some areas would prevent them from doing so.
“What I would tell commissioner of leagues is, if you have a team in an area where they just won’t let them operate, we’ll find a place for you here in the state of Florida,” DeSantis told reporters.
“We know that it can be done safely,” he added.
Major League Baseball team owners approved a plan this week to start the 2020 season in July in stadiums with no fans, with most games between teams that are located near each other. NBA officials have been discussing whether to resume the 2019-2020 season, which was nearing the playoffs when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. One location reportedly being considered is the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. And the National Hockey League is working on a plan for restarting its season.
Most governors have started easing harsh restrictions put into place earlier this year to try to blunt the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19, a disease.
“All these professional sports are going to be welcome in Florida. That may not be the case in every other state in this country, as we’ve seen,” DeSantis said. “The message is, I think our people are starved to have some of this back in their lives.”
Florida previously let golfing resume, as well as professional wrestling and fighting.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, another Republican, said earlier Wednesday that professional sports can resume in the state without fans on Saturday.
Some officials elsewhere, such as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, have said they don’t foresee pro sports taking place in their cities or states for months.