Governor Whitmer: It Could Be 'Long Time' Before Our Stadiums Open To Fans

But she's optimistic we'll see sports in some capacity this year.

Will Burchfield
May 14, 2020 - 11:19 am

We're not sure when sports will return -- and we're not sure what they'll look like when they do. 

Namely, will there be fans in the stands to watch? 

Standards may differ from state to state as the country recovers from the coronavirus. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that our stadiums will likely remain empty this fall. 

She shed some more light on the matter Thursday morning in an interview with the Jamie and Stoney Show. 

Whitmer, who said she once pursued a career in sports broadcasting, appreciates the importance of our local teams. As for when we'll be able to watch them at places like Ford Field and Little Caesars Arena, it likely won't be anytime soon. 

"We can’t answer that definitively right now. ... But the fact of the matter is, mass congregation without a vaccine is something that’s probably not going to be wise for a long time," said Whitmer.

That said, based on a recent conversation with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, she's optimistic that we'll see sports return in some capacity this year.

"We can figure this out. I was chatting with the commissioner of Major League Baseball, and they’re going to pursue a season," said Whitmer. "It might be a little shorter, it might look different, it might not have people in the stands, but we’re going to continue on. 

"I think we have an opportunity to do something a little bit different without sacrificing so many of these traditional American pastimes that are so important."

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That would include college football, of course. If there is a season this fall, Whitmer reiterated the stands will probably be empty.

"I know my daughter (an incoming freshman) is hoping to be on campus at the University of Michigan in the fall, and going to the Big House is something that we always anticipated would be a part of her college experience. That just might not happen this fall," said Whitmer. "But we’re going to get back to that point.

"It may take a little longer than anyone wants, but we’re going to muddle through this and we’re going to do the best that we can and eventually we will be able to resume some of those great traditional pastimes of ours that are so weaved in the fabric of who we are."