LANSING, Mich. – Shortly after the Big Ten announced football would return next month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was asked if fans will be allowed to attend Michigan and Michigan State games this season.
“I think every one of us is interested in football,” Whitmer said. “Every one of us is tired in COVID-19. I am, too.”
Whitmer said she would loved to resume some of the activities that she would normally do in the fall, including football games and holiday parties with her family.
But even though the Big Ten has reinstated a fall season and gained greater confidence in how to do so safely, Whitmer said COVID-19 remains a real threat.
“I support the decision that they’ve made,” Whitmer said. “It’s not my decision to make. It is theirs and they will move forward. In my conversation with my fellow governors last night, we were talking a little bit about spectators and the prospect of that in various types of arenas, and we’re all trying to do what we can to engage in some normalcy and keep people safe.”
She said while there’s no perfect way to move forward, the state will continue to monitor COVID-19 trends and see if there’s even more than can be done safely, such as perhaps allowing some fans to attend games.
As of now, the Big Ten is only allowing family members of participants to attend games, and even that will be on a limited basis.
The Detroit Lions did not allow fans at their home opener against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, but some NFL teams filled a percentage of their stadiums.
“We continue to determine if there are additional things that we can do safely, but if we want to preserve that as an option, we’ve got to be serious about masking up,” Whitmer said. “We’ve got to be serious about this reengagement of our economy in the safest way, and that’s everyone doing their part.”
Here’s much more recent coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:
Health questions, advice: