Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference on Wednesday where he discussed sports leagues opening up for business in the state after they were recently deemed an essential business. The Sunshine State recently announced that all sports leagues with a national audience were essential, as long as they operated under certain COVID-19 guidelines. This allowed WWE to continue operating at the closed-set Performance Center in Orlando, FL, and for AEW to return to the closed-set Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL beginning next Wednesday.
DeSantis talked about wanting WWE to invest in Florida, and host a WrestleMania event in the state, which is interesting as Tampa Bay has been rumored to host WrestleMania 38 in 2022. Tampa was set to host WrestleMania 36 earlier this year but plans were nixed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I would like to get to a point… I’m not saying we’re going to get it in May,” said DeSantis (h/t to NJ.com for the transcription). “I helped recruit, I wanted the wrestling to be filmed in Orlando. I’d like them to do WrestleMania. They were going to do WrestleMania in April. That’s hundreds of millions of dollars.
“I want to keep that good relationship, I want them to invest in Florida.”
DeSantis looked ahead to this summer and said it’s possible that we will see some fans at live events in June or July, depending on what happens with the COVID-19 trends.
“We got UFC to come to Jacksonville. Again, there’s not going to be any fans, but I think that’s going to be a good event for people. I worked with Phil Mickelson on making sure they have what they need for that Tiger Woods match,” DeSantis continued. “So there’s going to be a lot of good stuff going on but I don’t think we’re probably ready to have fans, but I do think, if the trends are good, I think as you get into June, July, I think there is a window to have some fans. You’re not going to have everyone packed in, but man in 90-degree weather in the state of Florida, if you’re out there and someone’s 10 feet away from you and you want to watch a ballgame or something, you may be able to do that.
“So this is something that we’re just going to have to do. We’ll be driven by the facts, driven by the data. But I think that Major League Baseball coming back, I’m hearing this, I think that that’s going to be exciting for a lot of people and I just think that there’s going to be a lot of possibilities, so let’s just be resourceful and creative.”
Below is video from DeSantis’ recent press conference:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who classified #WWE, #AEW, #UFC and others among essential businesses, said he’d like to keep a good relationship with WWE and mentioned the $100 million+ that WrestleMania brings in. Also said they got UFC to come to Jacksonville. pic.twitter.com/xOlq4jjRqz
? Jon Alba (@JonAlba) April 29, 2020