Recreational sports facilities reopen Monday at University of Michigan

A deserted State Street along University of Michigan's Athletic Campus on March 24, 2020. (Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – After closing recreational sports facilities for six months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the University of Michigan reopened its facilities to patrons on Monday.

Students and facility members wanting to work out are required to make reservations and must wear face coverings, according to the university. 

Patrons will be able to access buildings through U‑M Rec Sports, a contactless entry app that allows patrons to make reservations to the facilities and pools.

The Central Campus Recreation Building, Intramural Sports Building and North Campus Recreation Building facilities started accepting reservations on Friday, Sept. 28.

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Facility operational times and capacity are decreased to allow for additional cleaning.

Indoor programming, saunas, rentals and court activities including basketball, volleyball, badminton, squash and racquetball are unavailable during the initial phase of reopening.

Modifications to the U-M facilities include:

  • Cardio and strength equipment moved to be 10 feet apart; some can be found on gymnasium courts in CCRB, IMSB and NCRB.
  • Floors marked with 10-by-10-foot orange boxes in strength, stretching and some racquetball areas for physically distanced activities for one individual at a time.
  • No spotting in cardio and strength areas.
  • No cash payments.
  • Touchless hand sanitizer stations.
  • Increased staffing for cleaning.
  • Personal protection equipment and required health screenings for all employees.

The university will evaluate when additional court activities and services will be allowed, according to the U-M facilities update. Factors included in the decision will be federal, state and U-M requirements, COVID-19 data and trends, and the status of campus operations.

Learn more about the three facilities, operational times and requirements here.

The reopening announcement comes at the same time the university is seeing an increase in positive COVID-19 cases. On Thursday, Sept. 24, the university announced it added cases from off-campus testing sites to its COVID-19 dashboard. The addition resulted in a “significant increase” in the number of positive cases identified in U-M community members.

Gyms were allowed to reopen in Michigan following a Sept. 3 announcement from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, but they must operate at 25% capacity and follow strict safety conditions, like mandatory face coverings.


About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.