Governor Ron DeSantis has a simple message for sports leagues who can’t practice or play in their home states due to the coronavirus: Come to Florida.
In a Wednesday press conference in Tallahassee, DeSantis made it clear that if athletic organizations couldn’t operate in their home states, Florida would “find a place for you.”
NEW: Pro sports teams from any city are welcome to play in Florida, Gov. DeSantis says.
“We know that it can be done safely,” the governor says. pic.twitter.com/oQBZsgKV0j
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) May 13, 2020
The pitch to sports leagues and commissioners comes on the heels of a report on Tuesday, which said that Los Angeles County in California will be maintain stay-at-home restrictions through the month of July. The UFC held, from what all accounts was a wildly successful UFC 249 event in Jacksonville last weekend. The UFC became the first sports organization to hold a major, live sporting event televised in the country in two months.
DeSantis’ has made Florida the face of the return of sports, in many respects. In April, DeSantis made World Wrestling Entertainment an essential business, in order to allow the WWE to continue to show live events and productions in the state.
In addition, one of the proposed plans for restarting the NBA season, centers on keeping players at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort.
“DeSantis started reopening most parts of Florida last week after the coronavirus shutdown, allowing restaurants and retail to renew operations under certain conditions,” Bloomberg reported. “So far, the reopening has excluded Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the hardest hit and most populous regions, but those counties may reopen as soon as next week.”
The UFC will hold a UFC Fight Night event in Jacksonville on Wednesday night.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn