ORLANDO, Fla. – The WWE put on a live show, without an audience, Monday night from its performance center in the Orlando area, hours after Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the entertainment company was deemed an “essential business” by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
At a Monday afternoon news conference, Demings was asked why the WWE was allowed to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.
“They were initially not deemed an essential business,” Demings said. “With some conversation with governor’s office, regarding the governor’s order, they were deemed essential and allowed to remain open.”
Essential businesses that are allowed to remain open during Florida’s stay-at-home order include health care, financial, energy, food, communications and transportation sectors. But recent additions were made to the list of essential businesses.
DeSantis’ office sent News 6 a memo dated April 9 from the Division of Emergency Management that said “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.”
WWE has three TV shows per week: Raw, NXT and SmackDown.
The WWE performs its NXT shows from Full Sail University near Winter Park.
As of late Monday, there were more than 21,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida.