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Florida governor: Phase 3 regulation rollbacks includes stadium capacity

The Miami Dolphins have received permission to move to full capacity.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Holds Collegiate Athletics Roundtable at Florida State University Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has indicated that the state’s entrance into Phase 3 of its reopening during the pandemic that lessens restrictions includes stadiums.

The news came after radio personality Andy Slater reported that the Miami Dolphins had received the go-ahead from the state and governor to expand to full capacity — though the Dolphins have indicated that they’ll proceed with the same capacity limit (13,000 fans) will remain in place until at least October 25.

“We’re gonna be able to host a Super Bowl [in Tampa] in February,” DeSantis said at the end of September. “We expect to do a full Super Bowl. And, we’re gonna show that we’ll be able to do that.”

Currently, Florida State Seminoles football as well as Florida Gators football, UCF Knights, FAU Owls and Miami-Florida Hurricanes all allow fans to some degree, while the USF Bulls will be admitting fans for the first time this season this weekend. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins have also been allowing fans.

From DeSantis’ communication director, who says that state clearance wasn’t given, but because it necessarily wasn’t needed:

It echoes what DeSantis said last week when discussing the possibility of more fans at Buccaneers’ games (Tampa hosted fans for the first time last week.)

“[The teams aren’t] really impacted, cause I’ve supported [more fans]. It’s not really the government but what the leagues have been comfortable with. I very much support the Bucs having they can operate.”

After Florida State’s home opener against Georgia Tech, there was some backlash over some fans televised not distancing or wearing masks — in response, FSU President John Thrasher (who recently contracted COVID-19 alongside his wife) issued new regulations for both students and gameday.

There’s been no indication of changes in policy from any of Florida’s universities so far on the clarification from the state on capacity, but the likelihood of immediate changes in Tallahassee aren’t likely.