ORLANDO, Fla. —
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday/today that all professional sports teams are welcome to practice and play in Florida if they can’t do so in their own state.
DeSantis said he believes sporting events and practices can be done safely, but they would be held without fans.
“Our people are starved to have some of this back in their lives; it’s an important part of people’s lives so we want to be able to do that and I think we can certainly do it in way that’s safe, DeSantis said.
The governor also indicated that Major League Soccer may be exploring an opportunity to play out some or all of its season in Orlando.
“What I would tell commissioners 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 ya in the state of Florida. Because we think it’s important and we know that it can be done safely,'” DeSantis said.
DeSantis pointed to a recent UFC fight in Jacksonville and spoke about two golf matches set to take place over the next two weeks. One of the matches features Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
UFC President Dana White wanted a major fight card weeks ago. He was confident his team could pull it off. Coronavirus testing. Fan-free arena. Social distancing. Self-isolation.
White looked at all those unprecedented details that seemed too complex and too risky to some outsiders as merely extra challenges. White and the UFC ended up with a rousing show at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, and it’s possible the event could serve as a blueprint for sports leagues around the country and the world as they start to resume during a global pandemic.