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Lions offering fans chance to purchase cutouts at Ford Field

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no fans at Ford Field for at least the first two Lions home games, but the team is following the lead of Major League Baseball, allowing the purchase of cardboard cutouts to fill the stands. 

The life-sized cutouts will cost $150, or $125 for season-ticket holders, with all proceeds going to the team's charities. In addition to those season-long opportunities, the team also has single-game options for $50, with funds being designated for specific causes such as Henry Ford Health System’s Game on Cancer initiative and the Salute to Service game, benefiting military families through the Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors. 

Cardboard cutouts fill some of the seats at Sahlen Field before a baseball game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox last week in Buffalo, New York.

Finally, one fan per game can pay $1,000 the opportunity to have their cutout seated near the Lions tunnel, next to a cutout of Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders. 

"Though the enthusiasm and energy Lions fans bring to Ford Field on game days can’t be replaced, we are excited to offer an alternative representation of that support at home games this season,” said Detroit Lions Senior Vice President of Business Development Kelly Kozole. "The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our region hard and this is another great opportunity to give back, and given the circumstances, have some fun with our fans."

Cutouts can be purchased at detroitlions.com/cutouts. Fans are encouraged to wear Lions attire in their photos. Cutouts must be purchased by 5 p.m. on Sept. 7 to be in the stands for the team's home opener against Chicago on Sept. 13.

Speaking virtually at a Detroit Economic Club luncheon earlier this week, team president Rod Wood said he's continuing to work closely with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office and he is hopeful the stadium could open up at a limited capacity beginning with the Lions' third home game, against the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 1. 

"There's a lot of time for us, thankfully, between now and our third (home) game of the season," Wood said. "There are, as far as I know, five teams that will be hosting fans the first week of the season. Obviously, we hope that goes well in those stadium and we can learn and watch what happens there. And continue to work with the Governor's office and her advisers to get them comfortable that we can host fans in a way that's safe, which I'm very comfortable and confident that we can. 

"And I do think, at the end of the day, if we do it well — and I think you'll see that with those games that do have fans early on — it could be a great example for the whole country as to how you're supposed to behave with this virus," Wood continued. "People will be wearing masks, they will be six feet apart, there will be a lot of safety measures in the stadium, temperatures being taken, questionnaires being filled out, Plexiglas between concession stands and the fans. And I think a lot of things that are being preached about what you can do to prevent the spread, you'll be able to see live on TV. We can continue to be a good example for everybody if we're allowed to have fans do it at a safe place."

If Ford Field does ultimately secure approval to open to the public, purchased cutouts would remain in the stands, but could be moved to accommodate live fans. 

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers