Gov. Ron DeSantis outlined plans to bring pro sports to Florida on Thursday, and college stadiums are in the mix.
“I’ve already spoken to some of our colleges, like the University of Florida. They have a great football stadium, the Swamp, that’s not used on Sundays. So if an NFL team needs a place to land, we can work that out too,” DeSantis said on Fox and Friends.
When asked if Florida State University and Tallahassee would be in the mix like the University of Florida and Gainesville, DeSantis was coy.
“I haven’t spoken to them yet,” the Governor said, calling it a “great idea” for an “iconic stadium.”
“I think that we would want to be very helpful if we could,” DeSantis added. “Things like that, getting sports back, getting some of the other things back that we’re used to is really important from a psychological perspective.”
“I’m a big proponent of that. I think it’s great that these leagues want to move forward. There’s no question that we can do this safely,” DeSantis added.
The Governor has been a consistent advocate for bringing sports to the state, only accelerating efforts as the coronavirus crisis has led Floridians to be “starved for content” on TV, with sports on ice since March for the most part.
“All professional sports are welcome here for practicing and playing,” DeSantis said Wednesday. “We’re not necessarily going to have fans.”
The Governor, addressing reporters in Tallahassee Wednesday, urged Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer to bring their contests to the Sunshine State.
“There’s been reports that Major League Soccer may want to have its season in Orlando … do it. We want to have you here. We want to have the basketball practicing again. We would love to have Major League Baseball.”
“The message is ‘our people are starved to have some of this back in their lives,'” DeSantis said.
The Governor mentioned Ultimate Fighting Championship matches, such as UFC 249 that aired from an empty arena in Jacksonville, as well as charity golf contests to be televised later this month.
“All these professional sports are going to be welcome in Florida,” DeSantis vowed. “That may not be the case in every other state in the country as we’ve seen.”
“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 them,” DeSantis said. “We think it’s important and we know it can be done safely.”