Florida Governor Says State Open For Sports


Governor Ron DeSantis has a simple message for sports leagues who can't practice or play in their home states due to the coronavirus: Come to Florida.

The biggest point of interest regarding their plans to reopen is that DeSantis said the parks should submit the date they believe they can resume safe operations.

Still, the fact that the state of Florida is willing to accommodate professional sports could be good news for commissioner Adam Silver and the National Basketball Association. On Thursday, University of Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said he told DeSantis that the school would be willing to offer up The Swamp and other facilities to teams looking for a place to play. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, known as "The Swamp" to Gators fans, seats 88,548 with more than 90,000 often packing it for major college gridiron showdowns to see a team that won USA national titles in 1996, 2006 and 2008.

Major League Baseball team owners approved a plan this week to start the 2020 season in July in stadiums with no fans, with most games between teams that are located near each other.

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For example, the city of San Diego allows its citizens to walk, jog and swim on the coast but prohibits stopping and sitting. Needless to say, numerous protesters were unmasked and almost all were practicing the opposite of physical distancing.

"We want to have you here", DeSantis added.

The NBA and Major League Baseball are in active discussions with their players unions to resume play, even as public health guidance and the varying framework of shelter-in-place orders make it unlikely that states will be ready for sports at the same time. "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", said the Republican governor. "We want to have the basketball practicing again".

DeSantis said if commissioners run into trouble elsewhere in the country, even out-of-state teams would be welcome in Florida.