Mayor: Gov. DeSantis declares WWE an 'essential business' in Florida
ORLANDO, Fla. - The WWE was deemed as an "essential business" in the state of Florida as the country tries to slow the spread of COVID-19, said the mayor of Orange County during a Monday press conference.
According to WESH, Mayor Jerry Demings said the WWE wasn't initially considered as essential like grocery stores, but that has since changed.
"With some conversation with the governor's office regarding the governor's order, they were deemed an essential business and so therefore they were allowed to remain open," Demings revealed Monday.
The entertainment company has been using its Orlando training center to tape its shows. This year's WrestleMania event was originally scheduled to be held in Tampa, but it turned into a two-night, pay-per-view event that was taped at the facility with no live audience.
"I think initially there was a review that was done and they were not initially deemed an essential business,” Demings said, adding he didn't know the specifics about the decision.
According to the WESH, the governor's office said the WWE is essential, much like other professional sports and media production companies with a national audience, as long as its events are not open to the public.
The change was made, WESH reports, because the services are critical to the state's economy.
The move will allow the WWE to host live shows, but without fans, reports ESPN. The company has three TV shows that air every week: Monday Night RAW, NXT and Friday Night SmackDown.
One WWE on-air talent tested positive for coronavirus, but has not been identified.
"I would assume from a business prospective, the WWE is doing that analysis of its own family," Demings said.