Florida governor says all teams welcome

Major League Baseball balls (Getty Images)
Major League Baseball balls (Getty Images)

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 NBA, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball and the NHL are all grappling with the question of how and when to resume, or start, their respective seasons, which have been on hiatus since March.

Florida has emerged as a possible location to host several teams at once, with one of the latest proposals for the MLS to stage a 26-team tournament in Orlando.

DeSantis told a news conference on Wednesday that any team, particularly those unable to play because of local restrictions, would be greeted with open arms in Florida.

"All professional sports are welcome here for practicing and for playing," DeSantis said.

"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 you here in the state of Florida."

Most proposals under consideration involve teams playing in front of empty stadiums in large locked-down quarantined zones.

DeSantis is adamant that sports can return safely in his state.

"Our people are starved to have some of this back in our lives," DeSantis said. "I think we can certainly do it in a way that's safe."

His comments followed similar remarks by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Tuesday.

"We have had discussions with leaders with some of these leagues, and they all know they are welcome to operate, play and perform in the state of Arizona," Ducey told a press conference.

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