Florida governor Ron DeSantis wants major sports back in his state. UFC is holding fights in the state, and now, DeSantis is offering up the University of Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for NFL teams to play if necessary.
By the fall, the state of things may be wildly different among areas of the country. The southeast, the home of college football, is pretty optimistic that games will be happening this fall. The state of California, meanwhile, may be prepared to cancel things this fall barring huge improvements in the current public health crisis.
“I’ve already spoken with some of our colleges like University of Florida. They got a great football stadium, The Swamp, that’s not used on Sundays,” DeSantis said during an appearance on Fox & Friends. “So, if an NFL team needs a place to land, we could work that out, too.”
It is unclear how feasible it would be to host a full college football season and NFL Sundays on or around campus this fall. Doing so while maintaining appropriate health guidelines might be tricky. UF sounds confident that it can pull it off though.
Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin addressed DeSantis' idea today. From ESPN:
"Our priority is the well-being of Gator student-athletes, staff and fans, and we are working toward the day when we can once again engage with those groups safely on campus. Following Governor DeSantis' comment yesterday inviting other pro teams to participate in our state, I reached out to remind him that UF and Gainesville have world class health care facilities, an iconic football stadium, a state-of-the-art basketball arena and a brand-new baseball ballpark within two hours of cities with professional franchises. We've been receiving excellent guidance from our state and health care officials, and when those groups believe it is safe to host college and pro sporting events in Florida, we will be prepared to do so."
The NFL appears prepared to have things ready for the fall. If a team in California, New York, or another area that has been especially besieged by the virus in recent months, has to relocate, that may be an option. We'll see if the NFL releases plans that take this option into account in the coming months.