The Detroit Lions have finally agreed to their plan for attendance early in the 2020 season, and the fans will be required to stay home.
Friday, the team revealed that there would not be fans for the home opener next month against the Chicago Bears, nor Detroit’s game a few weeks later on October 4 against the New Orleans Saints. That being said, the team said they will re-evaluate after that point and see if they might start to host crowds.
The statement from Rod Wood read as follows:
“We have spent considerable time and resources implementing new gameday protocols at Ford Field and are ready to host fans at Lions games once approved by state guidelines,” said Lions Team President Rod Wood. “The health and safety of our players, coaches and staff, has been a focal point for all facets of 2020 season planning as demonstrated by being one of the first teams to gain approval from the NFL and NFLPA for meeting training camp COVID-19 requirements. We have the utmost confidence that we can provide a safe and enjoyable experience for fans at our stadium.”
“Lions fans have traditionally created an intimidating environment for visiting teams at Ford Field and, even in a reduced capacity, will be missed when we kick off the season against our division rival, the Chicago Bears. We are hopeful for an opportunity to host fans at the remaining six 2020 home games.”
All other areas at Ford Field will be closed to fans during the first two home games, including parking lots and other Ford Field businesses such as Blitz and The Stadium Collection.”
Whether or not the Lions can host fans at the other games down the stretch of the season is up in the air, but for now, the first pair of games on the slate will not feature any live fans. It may feature artificial crowd noise, but the first big change for the 2020 season in Detroit is now official.
Lions Call on Fans to Wear Masks
As the league ponders what’s next for the 2020 season, it’s clear the quickest way back to any semblance of normalcy is if folks mask up. The state of Michigan has asked everyone to chip in and do their part, and now so have the Lions.
The team revealed an internet video in which Matthew Stafford is shown warming up sporting a mask which has been superimposed over his face.
Please. Wear. A. Mask. So. We. Can. Play. 🏈 pic.twitter.com/S0Qs2cr7Ka
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) July 21, 2020
On Twitter, the team also made a simple change to their avatar, putting a small mask over the Lions logo’s face.
— Eamonn Reynolds (@Eamonn_Reynolds) July 21, 2020
At this point, safety and wearing a mask is vital to the cause, so credit the Lions for showing the way for folks at this point. By doing so, they are being strong members of the community and showing a commitment to what’s right and the greater good.
Bob Quinn Explains Other Lions Changes
The Lions have managed to weather the storm fairly well in terms of COVID on their own team and are looking prepared to deal with the pandemic as best they can. General manager Bob Quinn spoke with the media and said that the team has been preparing as best they can by cleaning the facility regularly.
Quinn is going over some of the new safety protocols in Allen Park, said Lions have put their facility through 10 deep cleans, which means no one allowed in the building for 48 hours. There's plexiglass between lockers in the locker room
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 29, 2020
Additionally, the team’s positional rooms have been moved around in order to better suit the needs of social distancing and the players.
Quinn said the Lions' QB room is not usable right now because of its size. Every position has gone up a room, essentially, so OL will use the team meeting room, which previously held 120 people. Now holds 34 max.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) July 29, 2020
The team is also going next level in terms of tracking movements within the building, which could be a big plus in terms of limiting the spread.
Players and staff will be wearing microchipped devices (sweat bands, wrist bands), that will track which people you are contact with in the building. Devices blink and give audio alerts if you get too close to people outside designated tiers.
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) July 29, 2020
All of these precautions hopefully will mean the Lions can navigate the pandemic well and stay out of trouble in terms of having an outbreak on their team.
So far, so good as it relates to that goal. Hopefully, things get better and fans can return later on.
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