TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – Governor Ron DeSantis said professional sports are welcome to return in Florida during a news conference in the state capitol Wednesday afternoon.

“All professional sports are welcome here for practicing and for playing,” Gov. DeSantis announced.


  • Florida is reporting 85,926 cases and 3,061 deaths
  • Florida in Phase Two of reopening
  • Cases have spiked in past week, Gov. DeSantis says due to increased testing

He said there might not necessarily be fans at these events, however, the games can continue.

“But there’s been reports that Major League Soccer may want to have their season in Orlando. Do it. We want to have you here. We want to have the basketball practicing again. We would love to have the Major League Baseball.”

The governor believes people are “starved” to have professional sports back in their lives.

UFC just hosted an event with no fans over the weekend and WWE has been producing live as well as taped shows from their training facility in Orlando.

The National Basketball League, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball are all discussing returning to their seasons. This week, MLB owners approved a plan that would start baseball season in early July and have spring training in June.

“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 in the state of Florida. Because we think it’s important and we know that it can be done safely,'” DeSantis said.

The governor also said he is hoping to have an announcement regarding youth sports in the state “very soon.”

The Tampa Bay Rays released a statement Wednesday evening:

“As a team that both trains and resides in Florida, we appreciate Governor DeSantis’ sentiments, and we look forward to when we safely resume activity.”