Last week, a story emerged that the Detroit Lions had an offer from a West Virginia resort to host training camp for the team this coming July. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Michigan especially hard, it’s still unclear when state officials will give businesses like sports facilities the okay to open up to full staff.
However, according to several NFL reporters, the league has told all 32 teams that they must host their own training camp in their team facilities. For the Detroit Lions, that means they will not be traveling to West Virginia—or anywhere else—for training camp. Allen Park will remain their home, as it has been since 2002.
What’s interesting is that several teams that regularly travel out-of-state for training camp—like the Dallas Cowboys a—will have to host their own training camp for the first time since 2011.
At this point, the Lions facility remains closed. Michigan took a big step on Monday, moving into Phase 4, which lifted Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order for residents. Starting June 8, Michigan will allow athletic practice to resume, but with some specific restrictions:
Outdoor fitness classes, athletic practices, training sessions, or games, provided that coaches, spectators, and participants not from the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another at all times during such activities, and that equipment and supplies are shared to the minimum extent possible and are subject to frequent and thorough disinfection and cleaning.
The Lions have not yet announced when they plan on opening their facility. As of May 19, NFL teams were allowed to open their facilities (assuming state law allows it), but under heavy restrictions, including no coaches, only 50 percent capacity, and the only players allowed are those going through rehabilitation. The NFL is optimistic, however, that coaches will be permitted to enter facilities as soon as this week.