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Slams, not dunks: WWE replaces the NBA at one Florida arena

August 17, 2020 GMT
A trailer set up near a satellite truck to transmit wrestling broadcasts is parked outside the WWE Performance Center Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. Florida’s top emergency official last week amended Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stay-at-home order to include employees at the professional sports and media production with a national audience, if the location is closed to the public. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
A trailer set up near a satellite truck to transmit wrestling broadcasts is parked outside the WWE Performance Center Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. Florida’s top emergency official last week amended Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stay-at-home order to include employees at the professional sports and media production with a national audience, if the location is closed to the public. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Pro wrestling is replacing pro basketball at the Florida arena that is home to the Orlando Magic, at least for the time being amid the coronavirus outbreak.

WWE said Monday that starting this week it will film wrestling matches at the Amway Center in Orlando on closed sets with only essential personnel in attendance.

The WWE is taking up a residency at the arena that is usually home to the NBA team. The Orlando Magic has decamped to the self-contained NBA campus at Walt Disney World outside Orlando, along with other NBA teams.

The WWE matches won’t have any real fans in the stands, physical distancing will be implemented and wrestlers and WWE staff will get regular virus testing, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said at a news conference to discuss the local response to the new coronavirus.

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WWE said in a statement that virtual fans will be cheering on the wrestlers through technology.

The Amway Center will be hosting the WWE matches for the “foreseeable future,” according to the company statement.