Florida governor Ron DeSantis is pushing to re-open the state quicker than a lot of other states, and he is willing to bring in professional sports teams that might need a place to operate. DeSantis said on Wednesday the state could find a place for out-of-state teams if they’re looking for a place to operate during the coronavirus pandemic.
“What I would tell commissioners of leagues is, if ya have a team in an area where they just won’t let them operate, we’ll find a place for ya here in the state of Florida.”
Earlier this week, Arizona announced that major league sports could return to action in fan-less venues as soon as May 16th. No major league sports are actually returning to play by this weekend, so those comments are more for PR purposes than anything else.
The NBA has been discussing a potential single site playoff tournament that could be based in Las Vegas or Walt Disney World. MLB had previously discussed a plan that involved quarantining players in Arizona and/or Florida. The NFL has some time before training camp, but there has been speculation teams in states like California that are more restrictive than others might relocate their teams to states where the rules are a little more wide open.
All of this is to say, states like Florida and Arizona are jockeying to benefit if other states continue taking a more conservative approach to the pandemic.