When it comes to Opening Day, there is no better place to be than Detroit, Michigan.
For years, whether the team was good or bad, fans have flocked to the stadium to watch their beloved Detroit Tigers begin what will hopefully be a great season of baseball.
In fact, many fans head downtown for the gigantic party, even though they are unable to get their hands on tickets to the actual game, which generally ends up being a standing-room-only event.
But this year will be much, much different as COVID-19 continues to wreak its havoc around the country, causing governors to make some tough decisions.
On Tuesday, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference and announced that she had decided to relax some of the COVID-19 restrictions around the state, including the number of people allowed in stadiums.
According to Whitmer’s latest guidelines, and confirmed by the Tigers, only 1,000 fans will be allowed in Comerica Park for the Opening Day matchup vs. the Cleveland Indians.
In my opinion, Whitmer dropped the ball on this decision.
First of all, let me be clear on something. I respect Gov. Whitmer for how she has handled the pandemic. Has she been perfect? Of course not. In fact, there are a number of things I have disagreed with. But, she has been forced to make some tough decisions, and I believe that she has made those decisions based on what she believes is best for the health of the citizens in our great state.
That being said, allowing only 1,000 fans in a stadium that holds 41,083 just does not make much sense at all to me, especially when considering some of the other restrictions Whitmer has put in place, including 50% capacity in restaurants and no limit at all in schools. (Yes, I have seen classrooms with 35+ students in a room sitting shoulder to shoulder).
If you do the math, 1,000 fans is just 2.4% of Comerica Park’s capacity, and that does not even include the standing-room-only tickets that are generally sold on Opening Day.
That’s right, 2.4%!!!
I understand that keeping people safe should take priority during a global pandemic but allowing 2.4% capacity in a professional sports stadium just does not make any sense whatsoever.
We still have nearly a month to go until Tigers’ Opening Day, hopefully, Whitmer reconsiders her decision and allows more fans in the stands for what is considered by many to be a holiday in Detroit.