Rep. Filler urges governor to lift gathering restriction for MHSAA football finals

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — State Rep. Graham Filler of DeWitt today called upon the Whitmer administration to adjust the gathering limit for the high school state football finals set to take place this weekend at Ford Field.

Filler drafted a letter to the governor alongside Rep. Ben Frederick of Owosso and Sen. Tom Barrett of Charlotte urging her to consider the impact the current gathering limit would have on the athletes and their families.

Under the emergency health order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, gatherings at sporting venues are limited to a capacity of 250 people – regardless of whether the venue is a high school football stadium or a large venue like Ford Field, which has a seating capacity of 65,000.

“With such a large stadium capacity, far more than 250 fans would be able to gather safely at Ford Field, with plenty of room for social distancing between the guests,” the letter reads.

“The arbitrary cap mandated by the epidemic order will prevent many friends and family members from supporting the players in one of the most significant opportunities in their high school careers. For this reason, we respectfully request that your administration increase the capacity limit for large athletic venues to provide safe accommodation for more guests. For instance, you could maintain the percentage-based capacity guideline while removing the arbitrary 250-person maximum.”

Filler, who represents the community of DeWitt, said the Panthers worked hard to earn a spot in the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s District 3 football championship.

“These student-athletes have overcome challenge after challenge to have a successful season, despite the ongoing pandemic,” Filler said. “I’m sure it would mean a lot to have their loved ones in attendance for the game this weekend.”

A full copy of the letter is attached.

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