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Good for the ‘mojo’? Gov. DeSantis pleads for sports’ return

DeSantis has been pitching Florida to a variety of teams.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, addressing reporters in Orlando Monday, made another unprompted plea for the return of sports leagues.

The nation’s “mojo” is at stake, the first-term Republican notes.

“Florida can be a venue,” DeSantis said, for professional sports looking to return. And “getting sports back online” would be “important for our nation’s mojo.”

“I’ve made it very clear to a bunch of leagues and individual athletes.” DeSantis said.

“Obviously we have our own teams,” DeSantis said, but those from elsewhere “can find places here in Florida.”

DeSantis is adding to the Citrus Bowl to that list.

The Governor made a similar plea last week for professional sports leagues to bring operations here, something that commissioners thus far have resisted.

The Governor, addressing reporters in Tallahassee last week, 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.”

“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.”

The Governor noted that college football stadiums, such as Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, could host NFL games on Sundays.

“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.

DeSantis, before making this formal call, noted that relative disinterest in attending games by some fanbases actually was a benefit in the current climate.

“You go down to the Miami Marlins, as much as I hate to say it, they’re not selling out,” DeSantis said.

“You go there and it’s kind of social distancing anyways because the stadium’s a quarter full,” the Governor quipped earlier this month on the Sean Hannity Radio Show.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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