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UNC Football: NC Governor Roy Cooper will allow 7% capacity in Kenan Stadium

With the new announcement yesterday, Carolina Athletics will be able to replace fake fan noise with real noise.

Syracuse v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Thanks to COVID-19 the 2020 college football season has already been off to a bizarre start. When it comes to Carolina football specifically, they have now played a game with zero fans, won the fight to allow parents to attend games, and have had their second game of the season canceled. You know what all of this needs? An announcement that fans will be allowed to (maybe) attend their next home game.

Yesterday during his 2pm COVID update NC Governor Roy Cooper announced that he is allowing stadiums to fill 7% of their seats with fans. For the Tar Heels, this means that approximately 3,500 fans will be allowed admission per game. Cooper stated during the presser that they believe that outdoor events are safer than indoor events, and also stated that the state’s infection and hospitalization numbers have remained stable in recent weeks. His plan is to give venues more than a week to prepare for re-opening, and so it will be up to Carolina as well as other schools in the state to figure out spacing, ticket sales, additional safety measures, etc.

Following the press conference, UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham released his own statement via Twitter:

“We are thrilled that we will be able to start welcoming spectators back to Kenan Stadium in October, and we are hopeful that the number of people allowed in our stadiums will safely increase as Fall progresses.

We will be particularly exited to have parents and students aback in our stands: they were certainly missed during our season-opener. We are working with health experts and our University on plans for seating, concessions, and continued communication of community standards with, with the health of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and community our top priority.”

While this isn’t exactly what any of us would’ve had in mind when the college football season ended in early January, it’s exciting to hear that fans will have the chance to see the Tar Heels play in Kenan. Over the last couple of weeks there have been some teams across the country that have shown that you can indeed have fans attend in a safe, smart manner. With only 7% of the stadium being filled everyone should be able to be spread out safely, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there was still a mask mandate despite the game being outside. It is worth noting that nothing with this virus is ever set in stone — if Governor Cooper begins seeing alarming numbers in the state, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody if he decides to once again lower the amount of people allowed in the stadium.

Regardless, the allowance of fans at football games is a big win for everyone. We have been stuck in COVID-limbo since March, and at this point any small form of normalcy is greatly welcomed as long as the risk of disaster is fairly low. The big question is: will UNC have everything in place to allow fans to enter the game next week against Boston College? One has to believe that Cunningham is hard at work trying to make it happen, but at worst we should expect parents to be in attendance.

What do you think of the news that UNC will allow fans in the stadium? Will you try to attend any of the games? Let us know in the comments below.