WWE Declared ''Essential Service'' In Florida During Coronavirus Pandemic

The wrestling organisation has been deemed 'essential' alongside hospitals
10:10, 16 Apr 2020

If you were asked what operations are essential during a pandemic, police, hospitals and the fire service would probably be the first to spring to mind - you definitely wouldn’t expect to add the adventures of Vince McMahon and his merry band of professional wrestlers to that list.

Well, that’s exactly what’s happening in Florida with the state announcing that the WWE has been classed as an “essential service” whilst coronavirus spreads across the planet.

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The decision means that WWE will be able to continue taping Raw, SmackDown, and NXT live from its Performance Center in Orlando, where WrestleMania 36 was held.

Speaking during a news conference, Florida’s Orange County mayor, Jerry Demings, told the press that the WWE had been declared unessential before the decision was overturned after several meetings with Republican governor Ron DeSantis.

"With some conversation with the governor's office regarding the governor's order, they were deemed an essential business. So, therefore, they were allowed to remain open," Mr Demings said.

In recent weeks, the WWE had switched to pre-taped shows but with the clearance it will now go back to live broadcasts, although the arenas will still remain spectator free for the time being.

"We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times," WWE said in a statement. 

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"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."

With WWE returning in Florida, it has sparked talk that other sports could follow suit very soon, with Major League Baseball among those willing to start again without a crowd.