Florida AD open to hosting pro teams in facilities

Local Sports

Florida linebacker Ventrell Miller (51) celebrates after a missed field goal by Miami during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

(WMBB) – The University of Florida could be hosting some pro games in their facilities soon.

UF Athletic Director Scott Stricklin said in a statement Thursday that they would be open to hosting events involving professional sports teams looking for a way to play during the pandemic.

This announcement comes after Governor Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that professional sports teams could come to the state to practice and play.

“I’ve already spoke with some of our colleges, like the University of Florida,” DeSantis said in an appearance on Fox News on Thursday. “They got a great football stadium, the Swamp, that’s not used on Sundays. So if an NFL team needs a place to land, we could work that out too.”

Here’s Stricklin’s full statement: “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,” Stricklin said. “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.”

Florida’s campus is currently closed to students and will be that way until the Fall.

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