The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been categorized as an “essential business” in the state of Florida, according to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.
Mr. Demings has allowed the WWE to continue its live television shows from its Orlando facility and Full Sail University located in Winter Park.
The decision, written in an April 9 memo coming from Governor Ron DeSantis’ office, is looking to permit the WWE to continue its work in the region.
Mr. Demings revealed that the WWE was not at first deemed as an essential business and that is the reason it had to follow the state’s shelter-in-place order, which started on April 3 and would end on April 30 at minimum. According to Mr. Demings, after a discussion with the DeSantis’ office, the decision was reversed.
Normally, essential businesses include mainly the health care, energy, food, and financial sectors. But as per the new memo, new additions to the state’s “essential services” feature:
“employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience — including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production — only if the location is closed to the general public.”
A DeSantis’ employee told ESPN last Monday that these services were categorized as essential “because they are critical to Florida’s economy.”
When questioned about whether the UFC would fall under this category the spokesperson said,
“The memo does not specify specific sports, as long as the event location is closed to the general public.”
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has stopped all its events and has not specified when they will get back to business, even though UFC president Dana White has stated that he wants to resume activities as possible.
A WWE spokesperson stated that the WWE program will be running live shows without audiences being present after a number of weeks of taped programming.
“We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times,” WWE told ESPN. “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.”
The World Wrestling Federation has three television programs per week, which include Raw (USA Network), NXT (USA Network) on Wednesday and SmackDown (Fox) on Friday.
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