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State, Tigers in talks to safely expand Comerica Park capacity ahead of Opening Day

Posted at 10:21 AM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-15 17:32:41-04

(WXYZ) — The State of Michigan and the Detroit Tigers are in talks over potentially increasing fan capacity at the stadium.

Detroit opens their season at Comerica Park on April 1, and as of the latest restrictions, 1,000 fans will be allowed.

From MDHHS

The Tigers released the following statement indicating that discussions were underway with the state and medical experts on possibly increasing capacity ahead of Opening Day.

STATEMENT FROM THE DETROIT TIGERS

“In the coming days, we look forward to announcing more details on increased capacity for Opening Day and beyond at Comerica Park. For the past several months, we have been coordinating with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, public health and medical experts, government officials, Major League Baseball, and leading venues throughout the country, to develop a comprehensive plan that will allow fans to confidently and safely return to the ballpark for the 2021 Detroit Tigers regular season. We appreciate the passion, patience, and resilience of Tigers fans and expect to soon announce more details on increased ticket availability.”

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The governor's office said that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has been in close contact with the team to safely expand capacity limits.

"Given our success during the Pause to Save Lives and expansion of vaccine eligibility, we feel confident that our state is making tremendous strides to get back to normal as quickly as possible. There’s nothing more exciting than fans rooting for the Tigers at a home game, and we look forward to making that happen very soon," the governor's office said in a statement.

On Monday, the Michigan Republican Party is calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to increase capacity at Comerica Park ahead of Detroit Tigers Opening Day.

Team Owner Chris Ilitch told reporters they would abide by the guidance of health experts and government officials, but that they were confident they could have the protocols in place to have fans in the stands for Opening Day.

Tigers VP of Park Operations Chris Lawrence told reporters a couple of weeks ago that based on the protocols being used for limited fans in Lakeland, the team is confident it can safely host fans at Comerica Park once allowed to do so.

In Lakeland, tickets were sold in pods with a limit of six fans. Those pods are distanced from each other with aisle access, and tickets were also sold on the outfield berm in groups of four which had squares marked off on the lawn.

This latest order will last through April 19 but could be extended or ended early, depending on numbers from the state.

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