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.
4-Star 2023 QB 'Loved' Clemson Visit, Looking for School That Feels Like Home
One of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 recruiting class, Nico Iamaleava, was on campus last weekend taking in what Clemson is all about and working out for the Tigers coaching staff.
Saban Ranked Over Swinney in Top Five Coaches Poll
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was ranked just below Alabama head coach Nick Saban in a USA Today list of the top five coaches in college football.
Could Deshaun Watson end up in AFC West with Patrick Mahomes?
NFL.com Columnist Jeffri Chadiha listed the Denver Broncos as a potential trade partner for Deshaun Watson, creating Watson vs. Patrick Mahomes twice a year in the AFC West.
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.
Commenting: To sign up for Discus, our new commenting system, just use your Twitter, Facebook or email to register, and you are in, very easy and quick to sign up! To find the find comment section, just look below the Around the Web section below this article and get chatting! We would love to hear your thoughts and have you join our community.