• Three stadiums are under consideration: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, TIAA Bank Field and 121 Financial Ballpark
  • The three venues seat 11,000 to 65,000 people
  • Temperatures in late August in Jacksonville often hover around 100 degrees and rain poses a threat

Florida’s surge in new coronavirus cases has Republican officials considering an outdoor stadium for its Aug. 24-27 convention in Jacksonville. Major convention activities were moved from Charlottesville, North Carolina, after Gov. Roy Cooper insisted the GOP submit coronavirus mitigation plans.

President Trump objected to any rules that would have diminished the size of the crowd gathered to hear his Republican nomination acceptance speech.

The Washington Post reported party officials are considering VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, which seats 15,000, as the venue, as well as what would be involved in holding the festivities outdoors where temperatures in August could hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and rain is a threat. Trump was expected to make a decision soon on an outdoor venue where the odds of transmitting the disease are lower, especially if people social distance and wear face masks.

Also under consideration are TIAA Bank Field, which seats 65,000, and 121 Financial Ballpark, which seats 11,000.

“When we signed a few weeks ago, it looked good. And now all of a sudden it’s spiking up a little bit and that’s going to go down,” the president told television host Greta Van Susteren. “It really depends on the timing. … We can do a lot of things, but we’re very flexible.”

Democrats canceled their in-person Aug. 17-20 Milwaukee convention, opting to hold the proceedings virtually.

Coronavirus cases in Jacksonville and surrounding Duval County are up more than 52% from last week and deaths from COVID-19 have increased 8.8%. The county reported 604 new cases on Wednesday.

Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee already have said they would not attend the convention. They are 86 and 80, respectively. Also not planning to attend are Sens. Susan Collins, 67, Lisa Murkowski, 63, and Mitt Romney, 73. Collins told the Post she never attends the convention in years she’s facing reelection.

Others, who are facing tight races in Trump-friendly states, including Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Braun of Indiana and Joni Ernst of Iowa have said they will attend.

Republicans are planning to gather 15,000 attendees and have said they will conduct daily coronavirus testing. It was unclear, however, what would happen of attendees test positive.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned against large gatherings, saying they pose a significant threat for the spread of coronavirus.

A political rally held by Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 20 is among the events being blamed for a spike in cases in that city. More than 6,000 people attended that event.