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As N.C. Lifts Capacity Limits, Clemson-Georgia Appears Full-Go in Charlotte

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the state will no longer limit crowd capacities, meaning Clemson's season opener against Georgia in Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium will be played in front of a packed crowd.

There was a time not too long ago that the critical season opener between Clemson and Georgia might have to find a new home.

Because of crowd restrictions in the state of North Carolina because of COVID-19, both schools were facing a summer decision to play in front of sparse attendance or move their potentially top-5 showdown to a more fan-friendly state. 

However, it appears that won't be an issue now. N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday that he's lifting capacity restrictions across the state, meaning Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte will have 75,000-plus fans in it on Sept. 4. 

Clemson and Georgia officially agreed in Feb. 2020 to play their first game of the 2021 season in the Queen City. That was about a month before the pandemic hit that nearly cost college football its entire season and left stadiums way less than full last fall. The Tigers played Notre Dame at Bank of America Stadium in the ACC Championship Game in front of 5,240 fans last December. 

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There were questions about this year's capacity in Charlotte after Clemson and Georgia both announced they have intentions to return to relative normality in terms of attendance/capacity policies this fall. 

Meanwhile, N.C. showed no signs of altering its restrictions, leaving the two powerhouse football programs with a tough decision at some point this summer. As COVID-19 numbers improved, the Tar Heel State has slowly reopened and lifted restrictions that were going to potentially leave thousands of fans without a chance to see one of college football's most exciting games of 2021. It could've also cost Charlotte massive revenue, especially if the game had been moved to another out-of-state venue. 

The Tigers and Bulldogs have already been projected as top-5 teams in several way-too-early top-25 rankings. Clemson is second on DraftKings Sportsbook's odds to win the national championship while the Bulldogs are listed fourth behind Alabama, the Tigers and Ohio State. 

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