State Watch

Florida mayor says state has deemed WWE an ‘essential business’ during coronavirus pandemic

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been deemed an “essential business” in Florida by the state government during the coronavirus pandemic, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings (D) told reporters on Monday.

According to ESPN, Demings said WWE had not initially been considered essential when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued a statewide stay-at-order at the start of the month but that after “some conversation with the governor’s office” regarding the executive order, the wrestling operation was subsequently “deemed an essential business.”

“So therefore they were allowed to remain open,” he added.

ESPN reports that WWE, which shoots “Monday Night Raw” at a facility in Orlando as well several other shows in the state, will able to go back to taping its matches live again. 

The state recently made additions to its list of essential services that were deemed “critical to Florida’s economy,” a spokesperson for DeSantis’s office said in a statement to The Hill on Monday.

Those services include “employees at theme park and entertainment complexes, zoological parks and facilities, and aquarium facilities, all of which are closed to the general public, in order to ensure the health, safety and security of persons, animals and property” as well as those working “at professional sports and media production with a national audience, only if the location is closed to the general public,” a memo from the governor’s office states.

The company had previously been airing pretaped shows for its fans over the past few weeks.

A spokesperson for WWE told the sports network that the company will be “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,” the company added.

Updated Tuesday at 11:43 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis WWE

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