ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Mayors from 11 Big Ten cities sent a letter to the conference requesting four additional safety measures be taken ahead of football season.
After it was originally postponed until the spring, the Big Ten football season was reinstated last month and will begin this weekend. Wisconsin and Illinois will officially start conference play Friday, with the rest of the league kicking off Saturday.
As part of the league’s reinstatement, officials outlined two specific COVID-19 stats that would be monitored to make sure teams would be allowed to play: team positivity rate and population positivity rate.
On Tuesday, 12 mayors -- 11 from Big Ten cities, as well as the mayor of Lansing -- sent a letter to the league requesting a few additional precautions be put in place.
- Make decisions based on community positivity rate, not just that of teams.
- Work with local and county health officials to agree on a positivity rate that would make a city unsafe to hold a game.
- Release game times and schedules as early as possible.
- Avoid evening and night games as much as possible.
“We know the history of football games within our cities,” the letter says. “They generate a lot of activity, social gatherings and the consumption of alcohol. These activities within our communities have also been associated with an increased spread of COVID-19.”
You can read the full letter below.