Florida Deems Professional Sports “Essential” During Pandemic

Taking advantage of that ruling, the WWE held "Monday Night Raw" last night

Miami Marlins stand during the National Anthem before a spring training game. (Mark Brown/Getty)
Miami Marlins stand during the National Anthem before a spring training game. (Mark Brown/Getty)
Getty Images

Professional sports have been added to the list of “essential services” in Florida, according to a memo from the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

The executive order being circulated by emergency management state coordinating officer Jared Moskowitz immediately cleared the way for sports with a national audience to return — as long as fans are not in attendance. Employees who are now considered essential workers in the state include “athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production.”

Now considered an “essential business” in Florida, the WWE took immediate advantage of the change in status and held Monday Night Raw in Orlando last night live in an empty arena.

“We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times,” the WWE said in a statement. “We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff. As a brand that has been woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its Superstars bring families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination and perseverance.”

Other actual sports in Florida may not return so soon because of the quarantine orders that individual leagues like the NBA, NFL and MLB have put in place. The change in classification could make Florida a good location for UFC president Dana White to hold his next event after an upcoming fight in California scheduled for later this month was canceled.

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