Michigan Expands Capacity at Outdoor Stadiums and Arenas
Up to 8,216 Tiger fans could watch the home opener on April 1st at Comerica Park against the Cleveland Indians. As of Monday, March 22nd, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will allow up to 20% capacity in outdoor stadiums and arenas that establish infection control plans. Comerica Park’s capacity is 41,083. Little Caesar’s Arena’s capacity is about 20,000, so 4,000 hockey or basketball fans could be allowed at future Red Wing or Piston games.
“We truly appreciate the ongoing partnership with the Governor’s office and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. We are thrilled to safely welcome back the best fans in baseball to Comerica Park for Opening Day and beyond,” said Chris Granger, Group President, Sports and Entertainment, Ilitch Holdings. “As the season progresses, we look forward to continued coordination with public health and medical experts, government officials, and Major League Baseball to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all Detroit Tigers fans.”
The update also increases testing for youth ages 13-19 to ensure athletes can safely participate in sports. The changes to the Order go into effect Monday, March 22, and remain in effect through Monday, April 19.
"Today's action is an important step towards normalcy, but there's still more work to do”, said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “As always, mask up, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of the virus so we can end this pandemic together.”
There are still strings attached before gatherings at outdoor stadiums and arenas can allow fans at 20% of the venue’s capacity if the site:
- Establishes an infection control plan that complies with the protocols included in MDHHS’s document entitled Enhanced Outdoor Stadium and Arena Guidance.
- Posts the mitigation plan publicly.
- Sends infection control plans to the local health department and MDHHS at least seven days before scheduled events.
- Administers a testing program as specified in MDHHS’s Guidance for Athletics for all players.
It might seem obvious, but state health officials are also announcing a relaxation in rules for gatherings in homes. Fully vaccinated individuals may now participate in residential gatherings with other fully vaccinated individuals without wearing a mask.