WWE and AEW could be able to allow fans at their live events in the state of Florida as early as next week, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his "Re-Open Florida Task Force" have issued a three-phased plan to re-open the state, according to WPLG Local 10. Phase 1 begins on Monday for much of Florida, with the exception of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The plan for Phase 1 states that people are encouraged to not gather in groups larger than 10 and employers should continue teleworking and screening employees for symptoms of COVID-19 if they have to report to work. Also, it states that vulnerable populations, including the elderly and people with underlying health issues, should stay at home during Phase 1. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are being allowed to operate at 50% of the building capacity. Gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to operate at up to 50% of its building's capacity. While theme parks will remain closed, the report states the following, which could include WWE and AEW:
"Large spectator sporting events should use strict social distancing guidelines and limit occupancy of venues to 25 percent of building capacity."
This could indicate that the task force will allow WWE to limit occupancy of the Performance Center to 25% of capacity, and AEW to limit occupancy of Daily's Place to 25% of capacity. It has not been confirmed that there will be fans allowed at the next round of events. AEW is scheduled to return to Daily's Place in Jacksonville beginning next Wednesday, while WWE is scheduled to return to the Performance Center in Orlando on Monday, May 11.
Phase 2 will begin "after the successful conclusion of Phase 1" but no date was given. There was no mention of sporting events, according to WPLG Local 10, but these parks may consider re-opening with capacity limits, strict social distancing and proper measures to clean & disinfect under Phase 2. Bars and nightclubs will stay at the 50% of capacity, but restaurants, gyms and fitness centers are being allowed up to 75% under the second phase.
Phase 3 will ease a few more of the restrictions, but the report on plans for the third phase doesn't include many details. Personal service businesses, such as salons and barbers, are being allowed to operate under full capacity under Phase 3, but there are strict guidelines to follow. You can read the full report on the three-phase plan here.
It will be interesting to see if this allows WWE and AEW to have at least some fans at their upcoming events, and if they take advantage of that. Stay tuned for updates.