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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Last week, a group of mayors from several Big Ten college and university communities met to discuss plans for the upcoming football season as well as to share ideas on what has and hasn’t worked in their respective communities for slowing the spread of COVID-19.
As a result of the meeting, the mayors have sent a signed letter to Big Ten Conference officials respectfully requesting a few practical measures to ensure each college and university community is better prepared for the continued fight against COVID-19. The mayors have requested that the Big Ten Conference work with local and county health officials in Big Ten college communities to define population positivity rates at which it is no longer safe to host a football game given the increased community activity (i.e. social gatherings and alcohol consumption) that games tend to generate.
The mayors have also requested that the Big Ten Conference release game times and schedules as early as possible, and make it a priority to host less or no games that take place in the evening or late afternoon, as these start times are associated with increased community activity. The full letter can be viewed here: https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/DocumentCenter/View/10055/Letter-to-the-Big-Ten-Conference-PDF. It has been signed by the following mayors:
“While we all appreciate our college and university sports programs and the economic and community benefits that they provide, the COVID-19 crisis is far from over and we are expecting some potential new obstacles as a result of the upcoming football season,” said East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens. “We hope that by continuing to work with our individual colleges and universities, our public health officials and the Big Ten Conference, we can be as prepared as possible for the return of football in our communities.”