Two warm-weather states with Republican governors are pushing doors open for the return of sports. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his state is open to pro teams that want to get back to action with practice or games, while Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey made a similar declaration on Tuesday. Both Florida and Arizona have been among rumored locations for centralized competitions for leagues.
Florida had a bit of a head start, however, as DeSantis had already deemed sports essential services and allowed WWE and UFC events to take place. Beyond the professional teams in each state, the sports industry has a huge economic impact in both – for example, spring training alone has an economic impact of $348.4 million for Florida; in Arizona, it amounts to $373 million.
Leaders of other states aren’t sharing in the optimism. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said fans “won’t be filling stadiums” this fall, while California Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he’s unsure MLB could start by July as hoped. On Tuesday, California’s state university system announced that its schools will offer online instruction only for the fall term, throwing more uncertainty on the status of NCAA football.