Detroit Lions rule out fans at Ford Field on Nov. 1, still hope to have some Thanksgiving

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
| Detroit Free Press

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The Detroit Lions will not have fans at Ford Field for their second home game of the season Sunday, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely they’ll be able to accommodate fans next month as well.

On Friday, the Lions ruled out hosting fans for their third home game of the season, Nov. 1 against the Indianapolis Colts, and said in an email to season ticket holders that they were voiding all three-game ticket plans for the remainder of the year.

On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended her state of emergency order due to the coronavirus pandemic until Oct. 27, but increased the maximum number of spectators allowed at events to 500. 

The Lions said in August they would begin the season without fans, but hoped to have crowds starting in November.

At the time, they allowed season ticket holders to opt out of ticket purchases for the season, or sign up for one of two three-game plans.

If fans are allowed at any point later this year, tickets will be sold on an individual game basis.

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The Lions (1-2) played their first two games of the season, Sept. 13 against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field and Sept. 20 against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, in empty stadiums. Last week, the Arizona Cardinals allowed about 750 fans, mostly friends and family of players and staff, into their stadium.

“It was almost unnoticeable,” defensive end Romeo Okwara said earlier this week. “I think they were all on their side, too. But, yeah, it was nice to see people out there in the stands as opposed to a completely empty stadium.”

The Lions have six home games remaining: Sunday against the New Orleans Saints; Nov. 1 vs. the Colts; Nov. 15 vs. Washington; Nov. 26 vs. the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving; Dec. 13 vs. the Green Bay Packers; and in Weeks 16 and 17 vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings.

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Lions content. 

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