Whitmer Says MI Won't Be 'Filling Stadiums' In The Fall

"But we also have to measure (peoples') expectations and say life’s going to be different. We’re not going to be filling stadiums in the fall."

97.1 The Ticket
May 13, 2020 - 9:20 am
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(WWJ) After speaking live on WWJ 950 about the fear legislators felt over armed protesters in the Capitol and the chilling effect that has on democracy, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave another talk where she dashed hopes for sports fans -- and others who are bristling under the stay home order and ready to resume public life.

Whitmer told the WKQI-FM not to look forward to a robust events, even in the fall.

"There is reason to feel some confidence here," Whitmer said. "But we also have to measure (peoples') expectations and say life’s going to be different. We’re not going to be filling stadiums in the fall."

While the governor never speaks directly about an exact timeline with dates, it's the first indication she's given that will be extended into the fall, a time when many hope NFL games and college football will resume, not to mention concerts that were canceled throughout the summer.

The governor's revelation comes as Major League Baseball owners approved a proposal to return baseball by early July, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

After the owners approved an 82-game schedule, the plan was sent to the MLB Players Association yesterday for consideration. Logistics of the plan remain sketchy, but seems to involve playing only regionally, mostly in home stadiums and without fans. ESPN says finances will be a contentious negotiation, with owners asking players to split revenue 50-50.

It's unknown if the players will take the deal to make baseball the first sport to return during the pandemic.

And the governor's quote about stadiums brings fall sports into the spotlight at a time when many are warning that while strictures are loosened to get life back online ... slowly, there could be another outbreak of COVID-19 in the fall. Vigilance against it is required, they say, or the anxiety and fear surrounding the death, fear and joblessness suffered around the globe the last few months will have been in vain. 

Yesterday, Whitmer told WWJ's Tom Jordan and Roberta Jasina the fact that Michigan shut everything down is why sectors of the economy are able to re-engage right now. But to reopen further involves baby steps to avoid a second, overwhelming spread of infection and deaths. She has said numerous times that if cases start to spike again, the strings will be tightened again.

"We've got to be really smart about this," Whitmer said live on-air. "In 1918, the flu pandemic, you can look at cities across the nation that dropped social distancing and saw a second spike that was more economically devastating than the first ... and that's what we need to avoid at all costs."