After Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced on Tuesday that professional sports (without fans in attendance) will be permitted in his state beginning this weekend, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a similar announcement on Wednesday (video link via Andy Slater of Fox Sports 640 South Florida).
“All professional sports are welcome here for practicing and for playing,” DeSantis said during a news conference, per ESPN. “… 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. Because we think it’s important and we know it can be done safely.”
Given the number of unknowns surrounding the reopening of professional sports leagues and all the work those leagues are doing to understand the risks of resuming play, DeSantis’ assertion that “we know it can be done safely” seems somewhat dubious. Still, the fact that the state of Florida is willing to accommodate professional sports could be good news for commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA.
If and when the league makes its own determination that the 2019/20 season can be safely resumed, games are expected to be played in one or two “bubble” locations. One of the top candidates to host that “bubble” is Walt Disney World near Orlando, so the fact that Florida’s state government is seemingly on board removes one potential roadblock for the NBA.