LANSING – Bowling alleys across Michigan will be able to reopen their doors.
Executive Order 2020-176 was signed Thursday by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday. In addition to allowing gyms and indoor pools to reopen, it also called for organized sports to be allowed in Michigan. And while many people took that to mean high school sports, it also meant sports like bowling.
The Executive Order says bowling alleys can open for leagues and other organized events.
The Bowling Centers Association of Michigan had filed a lawsuit against Whitmer, pushing for bowling centers to open. The lawsuit was filed after 45 other states allowed bowling centers to open. BCAM officials say Whitmer's office contacted them and said they could not speak while the lawsuit was pending.
On August 21, the lawsuit was dropped by the BCAM in good faith that it might allow for the two sides to meet. While the meeting never happened, BCAM officials believe the lawsuit was a factor in the announcement by Whitmer.
The Executive Order says bowling alleys can reopen on September 9. Bill Burke, owner of AMF Sturgis Bowl, spoke with Swick Broadcasting and says he is hoping to open up September 11, after hiring some more staff and ordering product.
While the BCAM is happy with Whitmer's announcement, the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association says this move isn't enough. The MLBA says bowling alleys depending on multiple sources, in addition to leagues, to keep their doors open. Those other sources include arcades, bars, restaurants and other sources of entertainment.
The MLBA hopes Governor Whitmer will be lifting more of the restrictions on bowling alleys in the near future.
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