Home winning streak continues despite COVID restrictions

Fans are not currently allowed to sit in the lower bowl of Calihan Hall. 

The unpredictability of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the Detroit Titans basketball season.

For safety reasons amid the recent spike in COVID cases, the university recently closed the lower bowl of Calihan Hall for the men’s and women’s basketball games and has instituted a mask mandate for all fans. Even the concession stands will operate under limited menus based on packaged food items.

School officials have made it known publicly that they are focused on the safety of the fans that attend the games.

"This is about the health and safety for everyone, spectators, staff, coaches and student-athletes," Athletic Director Robert Vowels said in a statement. "We are all aware of the spike in COVID-19 cases and that has forced us to cancel and forfeit basketball games in the last two weeks and we hope this updated policy will help us not only to play, but compete and have fans cheer in a safe, healthy manner."

There are mixed opinions from fans and players regarding these changes.

 “I understand the cautious move by the University but If I am vaccinated, I feel like I should have access (to the lower bowl) during the games,” Alex Bryant, who considers himself big Titan fan, said in an interview.

Others are on the opposite side and feel this change was very necessary with the uptick in COVID cases due to the omicron variant. Some parents who attend games want the best safety measures for all.

“As a parent I respect the university making the change,” said Paul Chang, a parent who attends games. “It is best for everyone as of now and I personally feel safer.”

Players also notice the changes. During games, fans in the lower bowl, including the student section, are often active and give the team a boost.

With the university removing the lower bowl, it takes away some key fans especially considering some of the most vocal sit directly behind the Titan bench.

Fans or not, the men’s basketball team seem determined to make an impact on the floor. The team is 4-0 at home so far this season, with a recent win over UIC that 1,795 fans witnessed in person.

The university is attempting to keep everyone safe, regardless of whether some fans may disagree with the changes.  Although the fans that regularly attend the are used to seeing the fans in the low bowl, it will not stop them from giving the Titans their continued support during the games.