Orange County, Florida mayor Jerry Demings was asked about WWE’s permission to continue operations at a press conference earlier today. Demings said that WWE was originally thought to be non-essential, but that changed after some discussions with the office of Governor Ron DeSantis.
“I think initially a review was done and they weren’t initially seen as a critical matter. With a conversation with the governor’s office regarding the governor [stay-at-home] order, they were considered an essential activity. Therefore, they were allowed to stay open, “said Demings.
In an update, Marc Raimondi from ESPN reports he asked Cody McCloud, Governor DeSantis’ press secretary, if the UFC or a professional boxing match could be considered essential to WWE.
McCloud replied, “The memo does not specify specific sports, as long as the venue is closed to the general public. “
Raimondi added on Twitter: “The warning should be something like that should be in a place closed to the public. “
ESPN reports that the decision that allowed WWE to continue working was described in an April 9 note from the DeSantis office and could open the door to the resumption of other sports in the Sunshine State.
Florida on-site shelter order extended at least Thursday, April 30, but WWE is released from restrictions after DeSantis’ office rescinds decision makes WWE product essential during the pandemic.
Essential businesses that must remain open while ordering a Florida home stay include those in the healthcare, communications, transportation, finance, energy and food industries. The memo sent by the governor’s office on Thursday, April 9, noted that recent additions to the list of “essential services” in Florida include “employees of professional sports and media production with a national audience – including athletes, artists, production team, management team, media team and anyone else necessary to facilitate, including services supporting such production – only if the location is closed to the general public . ”
The change from what counts as essential businesses comes down to money.
A DeSantis office spokesperson told ESPN on Monday evening that these services are considered essential “because they are essential to the economy of Florida.”
WWE broadcast tonight’s RAW episode live from the empty WWE Performance Center in Orlando, still as a closed-deck event. However, it appears that they are now bringing in more talent than they have had since they started using the closed sites, but the number of employees used has not been confirmed. WWE will continue to broadcast WWE NXT, SmackDown and RAW live from the Performance Center and NXT Arena at Full Sail University.
Stay tuned for updates.