Bill would prevent health officials from canceling college & pro sporting events

Michigan

FILE – In this Sept. 16, 2020, file photo, fans at Comerica Park watch a baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Baltimore Orioles in Detroit. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is allowing for the return of pro sports in Michigan as long as fans aren’t in attendance. The move Thursday, June 25, 2020, follows Major League Baseball’s decision this week to set a 60-game schedule to start July 23 or July 24 in empty ballparks. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A new bill in the Michigan House would prevent the state director of public health from canceling pro and college sporting events due to an epidemic.

Right now, the director is allowed to prohibit public gatherings during the pandemic if it is deemed necessary to protect public health.

This bill would create an exception for professional and collegiate sports. The director would only be allowed to limit occupancy at the venue to 20% or 12,500 spectators, whichever is less.

High school sports are not included in the bill, so the director would still be able to cancel them.

It was sponsored by Democratic State Representative Joseph Tate, who represents District 2 in Detroit. That district does not include any major sports venues, but it is adjacent to districts which include Little Caesars Arena, Ford Field, and Comerica Park.

The bill has been referred to the Michigan House Ways and Means Committee.

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