State expands capacity for outdoor stadiums to 20% ahead of Opening Day

Posted at 9:24 AM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 18:30:37-04

(WXYZ) — Outdoor stadiums in Michigan will now be allowed to have 20% capacity under an updated order from the state announced Friday.

Related: Detroit Tigers to welcome about 8,200 fans with masks required, pod seating & more rules
It comes amid backlash from Michiganders after the earlier order allowed only 1,000 fans in outdoor stadiums.

"The pandemic has been hard on all of us, but by staying focused on acting quickly, following the science, and listening to experts, we can save lives and help our economy recover faster," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a release. "Today's action is an important step towards normalcy, but there's still more work to do."

The gatherings can be increased to 20% under certain rules, including an infection control plan complying with the MDHHS protocols, the plan posted publicly and an a testing program for all players.

The governor's office issued the following statement to 7 Action News in response to questions we submitted:

Michigan continues to prioritize the health and safety of Michiganders as we take steps to safely return to normal and grow our economy. The science is settled that outdoor activity is substantially safer than gathering indoors, which is why we can take steps to expand capacity at outdoor stadiums. We continue to encourage basic public health measures like wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, and getting a vaccine because this is the best way to keep our cases down and eliminate COVID-19 once and for all.

“We truly appreciate the ongoing partnership with the Governor’s office and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. We are thrilled to safely welcome back the best fans in baseball to Comerica Park for Opening Day and beyond,” Ilitch Holdings President of Sports & Entertainment Chris Granger said.. “As the season progresses, we look forward to continued coordination with public health and medical experts, government officials and Major League Baseball to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all Detroit Tigers fans.”

"You’ll have a summer, a summer of fun ahead, if we all can get vaccinated. We can do this," Whitmer added.

The state did say it was in contact with the Tigers to increase capacity ahead of Opening Day.

Comerica Park has a capacity of 41,083, which means 20% of that would be 8,360 people.

The announcement puts Comerica Park on average with other MLB stadiums, which range from 10% capacity on the low end to 100% capacity in Texas. Other stadiums that will have 20% capacity include Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and more.

Read the updated outdoor stadium guidance from the state below.
Outdoor stadium guidance for Michigan stadiums by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd