Florida broke its single-day record for new coronavirus cases which was previously made Friday. Health officials announced Saturday that 4,049 people tested positive for the virus the day before, marking the fourth time the state has hit the dubious distinction in the last eight days.
What does this mean for sports?
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may love sports more than any other governor. DeSantis has allowed the MLS to come and resume their games in Florida. DeSantis has made plans for the WNBA and the NBA to come to Florida in a few weeks. He has also offered to allow all 30 MLB teams to play in Florida. Florida may now be at the point that these sports cannot be held!
It may not matter that the MLB has not came to an agreement because numbers are going up in other states besides Florida and that means that it won't be safe to have baseball. One of the MLB's many proposals was to have three divisions with 10 teams in each, rather than the usual 6 divisions of 5 teams in each. In addition to the three divisions, teams would only play in 3 states: Florida, Arizona, and Texas. Not just that Covid-19 numbers have gone up in Florida, but they have gone dramatically up in Texas and Arizona. This is starting to become a trend and there may not be a safe location or plan to resume baseball or any other sport.
Isaac Edelman covers the South Florida sports teams and the Mets as well as other breaking news stories and opinions on Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, and the NHL on his SportsCastr live streaming channel.
Sticking with Florida!
As bad as numbers have been in New York, Florida is starting to become worse and that is why Governor Cuomo announced that the Mets and Yankees would hold Spring Training in New York rather than Florida.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have closed their hockey facility due to three Lightning players and additional staff members testing positive for Covid-19. The Lightning facility will be closed until at least July 6, the Times reported. Also in Tampa, at least two Buccaneers players, a coach, and two other assistants tested positive for Covid-19. The Buccaneers did not say the exact number of players and staff testing positive, but they said the training center would remain open and operational.
At the Phillies training facility in Clearwater, Florida, at least 5 Phillies players and 3 staff members contracted the coronavirus. The outbreak can be even worse as more players and staff are awaiting test results. The Blue Jays also closed their spring training facility in Dunedin, four miles north of Clearwater, after a player exhibited coronavirus symptoms, ESPN reported, saying the player had recently spent time with Phillies players. As of right now, all MLB Spring Training facilities are temporarily closed due to the outbreak of cases.
With numbers going up in Florida, the NBA and the WNBA may have to change their current plans. The NBA, which is scheduled to resume in Orlando starting in early July, may have some concern for the rest of the season. Walt Disney World, which will house 22 teams, sits largely in Orange County and in part of Osceola County -- both located in Central Florida, a region that hasn't been hit nearly as hard. Orange County has about 4,500 cases, and Osceola County has reported about 1,000. This may be a break for the NBA as other cities in Florida are much worse.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN that the league is "closely monitoring the data in Florida and Orange County and will continue to work collaboratively with the National Basketball Players Association, public health officials and medical experts regarding our plans."
The WNBA is scheduled to resume July 24th at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. All games will be played in the basketball facility there, which includes four courts, and all the players and staff will live in the dorms there for the duration of the season. This will include 22 games plus the playoffs.
The NFL may even be effected if numbers keep on going up. There may even be a second wave of Covid-19. All we can hope is for everyone to be safe, Covid-19 numbers to go down and sports to resume in a safe matter!
Below are some images of testing sites held at Sports Stadiums!