Over 4,700 people sign on to MacDonald letter urging governor to allow ice arenas to reopen

LANSING, Mich. — After Sen. Michael D. MacDonald sent a letter to the governor on Aug. 6 urging her to allow ice arenas in Michigan to reopen, he invited the public to sign on to the letter.

On Monday, his office hand delivered to Gov. Whitmer’s office over 4,700 copies of the letters from Michigan residents.

“I sent a letter to the governor’s office asking her to listen to those who continue to be negatively affected by the lockdown about their plans to safely reopen ice arenas, but I was disappointed to receive a form letter that didn’t commit to hearing their plans and didn’t address any of the points raised in the letter,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “I decided to offer people to co-sign on to my letter to show the broad support for allowing ice arenas to reopen in a safe, sensible and responsible manner. We received a tremendous amount of support, and on Monday we delivered 4,701 co-signed letters to the governor. My hope is they receive a better response.”

MacDonald’s letter said, “Ice arenas have now been closed for over five months, draining them of any emergency funds they had, while other businesses have been allowed to reopen” and “if changes are not made soon, the damage with be irreparable.”

The letter also mentioned how two popular ice activities, figure skating and ice hockey, can be done safely: Figure skating is an easy sport in which to social distance as it is largely an individual sport. When it comes to hockey, all players wear face cages or shields, mouth guards, and gloves. They wear pads on every inch of their body. There is almost no skin to skin contact. They do not share equipment, and there is no sharing or touching of a ball.

“Ice arenas are very large and can safely and sensibly reopen at limited capacity. If casinos can operate at 15%, then why can’t ice arenas? That would equate to over 500 people in an average arena building,” MacDonald said. “Many other states have had great success in their safe reopening. It’s not just about supporting small businesses; these facilities — and the sports and hobbies they provide — are part of many Michiganders’ lives. Access to these activities during these challenging and difficult times is also good for people’s physical and mental health.”

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting https://www.SenatorMichaelMacDonald.com/photos/.