Florida governor Ron DeSantis deemed WWE and other pro wrestling promotions as an "essential business" in the state of Florida back in early April, allowing the company to continue taping episodes of Raw and SmackDown from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. All of WWE's shows, including WrestleMania 36, have been without fans since the March 13 episode of Friday Night SmackDown, and on the latest quarterly earnings conference call Vince McMahon was unable to give an answer on when fans might be allowed to attend live events again.
During a press conference on Wednesday DeSantis made it sound like that might happen sooner than most people expect.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who classified #WWE, #AEW, #UFC and others among essential businesses, said he'd like to keep a good relationship with WWE and mentioned the $100 million+ that WrestleMania brings in. Also said they got UFC to come to Jacksonville. pic.twitter.com/xOlq4jjRqz— Jon Alba (@JonAlba) April 29, 2020
"I don't think we're probably ready to have fans, but I do think if the trends are good as you get into June-July, I think there is a window to have some fans," DeSantis said. "You're not going to have everyone packed in, but, man, in 90 degree weather in the state of Florida, you're out there and someone is ten feet away from you and you want to watch a ballgame or something, you may be able to do that."
McMahon gave his first statement regarding how WWE has been handling the ongoing pandemic in the quarterly financial report.
"Our first quarter financial performance was strong and largely unimpacted by the COVID-19 outbreak," he wrote. "Now we are in the midst of unprecedented times, which require us to be especially nimble, creative and efficient in order to ensure the ling-term value of WWE. We are taking precautions to protect the health and safety of our performers and staff as we produce content in new ways, engage fans with a much-needed diversion and operate effectively in this evolving environment."
Part of the company's response to the money lost as a result of the pandemic was to fire more than 30 active wrestlers — with names including Rusev, Zack Ryder, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and Drake maverick — along with furloughing numerous office employees, on-air talent and backstage producers.
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