WWE is now considered "essential business" in Florida, but before the April 9 order, they were told multiple times to stop running events.
Stephanie Coueignoux of Spectrum News 13 and Jon Alba of Spectrum Sports 360 in Orlando report that the Orange County Sheriff was called multiple times to the WWE Performance Center and told WWE they were not in compliance with the initial stay-at-home executive order and had to close down.
Florida's stay-at-home order went into action on April 3. WWE had been running mostly live shows up to April before taping WrestleMania 36 and the following episode of Raw.
On April 9, WWE was added to the list of "essential businesses," allowing them to run live shows once again. WWE ran the April 10 SmackDown and April 13 Raw as live shows and will continue to run live shows moving forward.
.@OrangeCoSheriff was called again yesterday (April 13) regarding the live Monday Night Raw taping, but at that point, the new Executive Order signed April 9 allowed for #WWE to operate as an essential business.— Jon Alba (@JonAlba) April 14, 2020
As previously reported, Linda McMahon's Super PAC committed nearly $20 million to the state of Florida on April 9, the day the new executive order was signed.
In an update, the Orange County Sheriff's Department PR team sent the following to Fightful on Wednesday Morning:
There are no reports written from that address by OCSO deputies in March or April, but we know that our deputies responded to that location several times in the last few weeks. Each time, they advised the business that they were not in compliance with the Executive Order and advised them they would have to close down. On April 13, someone called to say there would be a taping at the location that evening. But by that time, an April 9 memo from the Florida Division of Emergency Management (attached) had already deemed those types of businesses “essential.”
The decision to add WWE to "essential business" came from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and not Orange County, where the Performance Center is located.