The Detroit Lions are going to play it safe and not have fans for their first home games of the 2020 season, but that doesn’t mean they are punting on the idea of having fans collectively this year.
Recently, team president Rod Wood spoke with the media and provided an update as it relates to what the Detroit plan is moving forward. As he said, the team is working with Gretchen Whitmer’s office to see if they might host fans for their third home game of the 2020 season set to be played in early November.
Here’s Wood’s take:
As Wood said, providing the team can host fans safely, they’d like the chance to try considering they could have temperature checks, separate folks by 6 feet and also have plexiglass around the concession stand area.
If the Lions have one advantage here, it’s time. Detroit plays plenty of road games early on, so conceivably, things could be very different come November. If that’s the case, the team could perhaps take a look at finding a way to make this happen given the benefit of more time.
It might be a long shot, but the Lions at least want to think about hosting fans later on this season.
Lions Won’t Host Fans Early in 2020
Recently, 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.
On Twitter, the team also made a simple change to their avatar, putting a small mask over the Lions logo’s face.
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.
Additionally, the team’s positional rooms have been moved around in order to better suit the needs of social distancing and the players.
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.
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. If the Lions can be on the forefront of managing things with their team, it’s possible they might be able to also do a great job keeping fans safe if they get the chance as well.