After over a year full of restrictions and tepid reintroductions to sports in front of crowds, it felt like it would be the fall before things were closest to normal than they had been before the pandemic. We had gotten used to a couple of thousand students in the Smith Center, a few dozen at Karen Shelton Stadium with folks surrounding the outside, and a few hundred in Cary for the Soccer Championships and just assumed there’d be a gradual ramp up to more crowds.
Then, last Thursday, the CDC announced that if you were fully vaccinated, you didn’t need a mask and didn’t need to social distance. Governor Roy Cooper followed 24 hours later based on this new guidance and lifted the state’s mask mandate and social distancing requirements. The move was too late for certain events over the weekend, like graduation ceremonies on campus and, specifically, UNC Baseball’s series against Louisville.
The original plan for Cooper was to lift the mandate in June, which would have been after the season for the Tar Heels was done. Thus, unlike other teams such as the Durham Bulls and Carolina Hurricanes, they hadn’t done any sort of research or planning to try and jump capacity. Presumably for this reason, the Tar Heels didn’t release any additional tickets for the sweep over Louisville.
Once that series was done, though, they had time to take a peek and review their infrastructure to determine if they could have more fans for their last game, tonight, against UNC-Wilmington. The answer came in a tweet about 2 PM
This is going to be the last game Carolina plays at the Bosh in 2021, and that’s not a comment about their life on the NCAA’s bubble. Due to Covid, the NCAA has changed up how baseball will work this year, and will be sending teams to pre-determined sites. Think of it like how NCAA basketball normally works. On Friday they announced the final 20, of which 16 will be picked, and Chapel Hill wasn’t one of the sites. Considering North Carolina is hosting the entirety of both Soccer Cups, and hosted the Field Hockey championships, it did seem unlikely anyone in the state would get the benefit of baseball. Thus, with the team going to Atlanta this weekend and then the ACC Tournament being played in Charlotte, this will be the swan song for the Bosh in 2021.
Open tickets are $10. The site notes that the available seats are NOT socially distanced. That said, after a year of having to give up so much, who would have thought it’d be baseball that would give you the first crack at a full crowd experience? Click the link above to grab a seat.