Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday that he hopes to follow in the footsteps of Arizona and allow any and all professional sports leagues to use Florida as their home base whenever they decide to bring live sports back. DeSantis expects the plan to make this official sometime this week.
"There's been reports that Major League Soccer may want to have their season in Orlando. Do it. We want to have you here," said DeSantis. "We want to have the basketball practicing again. We would love to have the Major League Baseball. And I think the message is that our people are starved to have some of this back in their lives. It's an important part of people's lives. So we want to be able to do that. I think we can certainly do it in a way that's been safe."
The Republican politician made sure to note that the return of sports would not necessarily mean the return of live fans in attendance. All four major sports leagues, along with MLS, have had to deal with major changes to their respective calendars as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. These disruptions have ranged from suspended seasons to turning the NFL Draft virtual.
Florida was early to attempt to reopen the state after the first major wave of the virus hit the country. Images of residents of the state flocking to beaches on the coast went viral after restrictions were lifted in late April, though some counties announced they would close down their respective beaches again after those images were released to the public.
Over 42,000 people have tested positive for the virus in the state, and over 1,700 have died as a result of it.