Gov Whitmer: Pro Sports Can Return

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 8:43 AM EDT
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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday allowed for the return of pro sports in Michigan as long as fans aren’t in attendance.

Since the Red Wings and the Pistons seasons unceremoniously ended early cause they didn't qualify for the playoffs, the order will have its most immediate effect on the Tigers and eventually, the Lions, if NFL training camp starts on time.

The move followed Major League Baseball’s decision this week to set a 60-game schedule to start July 23 or July 24 in empty ballparks. The governor said games must be played without a live audience for the “time being.” Only staff of the facility and media can attend.

Whitmer says participants must stay 6 feet apart “ to the extent compatible with the sporting activity,” according to the order. It does not address college sports.

While Michigan will get baseball back via the Tigers, it's becoming increasingly more likely that the Lansing Lugnuts will not have a season. MLB still hasn't announced plans for a minor league season yet. Baseball analysts have said for months now that it's pretty unlikely to see minor league baseball at all this year.

Outdoor social gatherings and events are allowed under a separate measure but cannot exceed 100 people except in much of northern Michigan, where the cap is 250. Indoor gatherings and events are limited to 50 people in northern Michigan and 10 elsewhere.

This week Gov. Whitmer waited to reopen more businesses — like gyms and movie theaters — in 51 counties following an uptick in some places, however. In East Lansing, at least 43 cases have been tied to a bar near Michigan State University that was able to reopen more than two weeks ago. It has temporarily closed.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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