As President Donald Trump and his administration move toward reopening commerce and public spaces across the U.S., professional sports leagues have also begun to explore the possibility of resuming play in spite of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Proposals in multiple sports leagues have centered on players and teams descending upon a single location where games and events can be held. To that end, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is seemingly eager to provide the venues.
Per Politico, DeSantis spoke to reporters at the Capitol in Tallahassee on Wednesday and offered up his state as a place for teams to practice and play, thus avoiding the coronavirus restrictions that are in place in other states.
“People are starving to have some of this back in their lives,” said the governor, in reference to the absence of sports. “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.”
At least one major sporting organization in the U.S. is said to be considering the governor’s offer. According to a report this week by The Washington Post, Major League Soccer is considering bringing all of its 26 teams to Orlando for a localized season. Under the MLS proposal, all players, coaches, and support staff — which reportedly number more than 1,000 — would live under quarantine at one of the large resorts near Disney World.
According to Politico, DeSantis has invited the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball to return to action in a similar fashion in the state. As with the current MLS season, the NBA had to suspend its 2019-20 campaign mid-stream. Meanwhile, MLB was postponed indefinitely ahead of its March 26 Opening Day.
The Florida governor has already helped realize the return of one major sporting organization, specifically the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Last week, a rescheduled UFC 249 card featuring an interim lightweight title bout between Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson emanated from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
As shared by The Inquisitr, President Trump praised the UFC for being the first organization (outside of professional wrestling) to hold a major event since COVID-19 forced leagues to hit the proverbial pause button.
In addition to pushing for pro sports to return in his state, DeSantis has allowed golf courses to remain open in Florida, even after he closed various sectors in March to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.