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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday said any professional sports team would be welcome in the state as major leagues attempt to plot a course back to competition following the coronavirus shutdown.
The Republican governor said so at a news conference in Tallahassee, noting that several sports leagues have floated the idea of bringing teams to a centralized facility for games without fans because of COVID-19.
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"What I would tell commissioners of leagues is, 'If you have a team in an area where they just won't let them operate, we'll find a place for ya in the state of Florida". "When those groups believe it's safe to host college and pro sporting events in Florida, we will be prepared to do so".
Florida could become a sports haven as the virus outbreak remains uncontrolled throughout the country. The coronavirus pandemic has shut down sports leagues across the United States, although Ultimate Fighting Championships events began last Saturday in Jacksonville and four-man golf skins games involving top-ranked Rory McIlroy and 15-time major victor Tiger Woods are set for this month on "Sunshine State" courses. The UFC held, from what all accounts was a wildly successful UFC 249 event in Jacksonville last weekend.
Florida, however, isn't alone in their efforts to reboot professional sports leagues that would be in-season right now. But now that the state of Florida is in a Phase 1 reopening, that could change at some point in the future. "Don't we want people to be getting in shape?"