Skip to main content

Walz: Announcement on fans at professional, high school sports coming in 'days'

Walz says the state will be more confident to share details on loosening restrictions later this spring.
Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz plans to announce new COVID-19 guidance for professional sports teams in a "very short amount of time," as little as "days."

The governor said during a news conference Tuesday getting so many people 65 and older vaccinating so quickly has moved up his timeline for reopening businesses and allowing fans at sporting events, both professional and high school.

But, he said, the COVID-19 variants continue to complicate things and the state is trying to "balance this race on the vaccine versus a variant going up." 

The state on Tuesday reported 40 more cases of the B117 variant tied to a cluster in Carver County that's linked to youth sports and fitness facilities, Walz said, noting he's watching the variant data closely.

Walz stressed the importance of continuing to wear masks and get tested to ensure the data continues to trend in the right direction, calling a spike in the state's positivity rate on Tuesday an anomaly.

"We feel much more confident about giving guidance after say the first of April, but certainly the first of May or first of June," Walz said, adding they want people to know restrictions for this summer so people and large venues are able to plan for weddings, concerts, etc. 

Walz added, "We're going to know in the next month" or "3-4 weeks" where the state is headed with the pandemic and what type of restrictions will be in place come Aug. 1.

But determining where we're going to be in early April is trickier, with Walz citing a comparison University of Minnesota's Dr. Michael Osterholm made to a hurricane. Right now we're in the eye of the storm, and it could dissipate or it could worsen, and we should know soon. 

Walz said he spoke on Monday with the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota United about having fans at home games for their upcoming seasons (the United begins in March and the Twins home opener is April 8), acknowledging the teams need to know how many tickets they can sell to fans and the state wants to "give them that certainty" based on the science and economic impact. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

"We need to get this out to them so they have time," Walz said, noting Dave St. Peter with the Twins asked for 30 days, which they're at. 

He also said it's important for them to figure out how to allow fans to watch the upcoming state high school tournaments, adding "We're trying to figure out how to do that as safely as possible [and] get that guidance out."

Meanwhile, Minnesota Republicans on Tuesday held a news conference to call on Walz to lift capacity restrictions and allow increased attendance at professional sporting events amid the decline in COVID cases across Minnesota, asking the governor to share this new guidance now and not wait. 

Republicans have been critical of the governor since the start of the pandemic for waiting too long to make announcements about business restrictions, saying it doesn't give businesses enough time to plan to reopen.

Next Up

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.

J. Gordon

K-9 search leads to $36K fentanyl seizure during traffic stop

A traffic stop was made after the vehicle was seen speeding through the area.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 5.20.08 PM

Gov. Walz reacts to Tuesday death of Mankato West student

The governor is a former geography teacher at the high school.

court room

Teen pleads guilty to Minneapolis carjacking, admits to others

The man was yanked out of the vehicle by witnesses before fleeing the scene.

Federal court house

Three plead guilty to roles in murder on Red Lake Reservation

The 2019 murder left another person seriously injured.


Sheriff: Heifer shot and butchered on farmer's pasture near Aitkin

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to call the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office.


Minneapolis murder suspect arrested in Wisconsin

The man has been wanted by police since the shooting happened in April.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Charges: Man kidnapped woman at gunpoint, forced her to withdraw $1,500

The 56-year-old suspect is accused of forcing the woman to the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis.

police lights

Police arrest suspect in Oakdale after 10-hour standoff

The standoff with police lasted over 10 hours Friday.



Watch live: Walz details next steps in COVID-19 vaccination plan

Earlier Tuesday, Walz shared two more groups are eligible to get the vaccine, starting Wednesday.

covid, vaccine

Walz: COVID-19 vaccines for young teens expected to open this week

Gov. Walz said parents should be able to make appointments for their kids later this week.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

90% of MN schools now offer in-person learning, 55% of teachers vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz had set March 8 as the date for when schools would be expected to offer in-person learning.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz explains why he's not using emergency powers to combat COVID surge

He doesn't think they'd be effective, and wants his team in place to bring the state out of the pandemic.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz will announce timeline 'to end all COVID-19 restrictions'

The details will be revealed in the governor's planned Thursday address.