Florida’s Ron DeSantis became the second governor to announce that his state is open to professional sports teams that want to resume activity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“All professional sports are welcome here for practicing and for playing,” DeSantis said at a news conference Wednesday in Tallahassee. “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 you here in the state of Florida.”
On Tuesday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced that professional sports, including MLB, the NBA, the NHL and the NFL, may resume in the state — without fans — on Saturday, as long as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are followed.
Last month, Florida’s DeSantis had deemed sports “essential services,” allowing WWE and UFC events to take place in the state without fans. The Tiger Woods-Peyton Manning vs. Phil Mickelson-Tom Brady golf match will be in Hobe Sound on May 24, also without fans.
DeSantis launched a phase 1 plan to reopen the state on Monday for all counties not including Miami-Dade and Broward. Those two counties will open this coming Monday.
The Miami Heat reopened their facility Wednesday for players to undergo voluntary, individual workouts. Twelve players went in for voluntary, socially distanced workouts, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
DeSantis specifically mentioned baseball, soccer and basketball in his remarks Wednesday.
“Our people are starved to have some of this back in our lives,” he said. “I think we can certainly do it in a way that’s safe.”