Doeren: Parents Should be Able to Attend Games

Brett Friedlander

A group of NC State football parents gathered at Gov. Roy Cooper's office on Thursday to deliver a petition asking Cooper to allow them to attend their sons' game against Wake Forest at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday.

Under Phase 2.5 of the governor's plan to reopen the state amid the coronavirus pandemic, outdoor gatherings in North Carolina are limited to 50 attendees or fewer.

The football program has issued as many tickets as it can for Saturday's game, allowing some parents to watch in person. But according to coach Dave Doeren, there's no reason everyone invoved with the program can't attend safely in a stadium that has 57,583 seats.   

"I understand there’s rules and regulations and you don’t want to open up Pandora’s box for everybody," he said during a Zoom conference Thursday. "It just seems like there should be a little flexibility when you see a lot of people hanging out on a patio at a bar, but you can’t have 500 parents in a 60,000-seat stadium. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

"These kids have been through a lot. Their parents, like all of us that have kids, have been watching them go through a lot. For most of their lives they’ve been able to watch them play in person. I think it would be a great thing for that to happen."

It's highly unlikely Gov. Cooper will reverse his decision and lift the 50-person restriction. Parents of players at North Carolina, Wake Forest and Appalachian State made similar pleas before their sons' home games last week, without success.

Barring the unexpected, Doeren said the limited number of tickets that are available will be distrubted according to seniority of the Wolfpack's travel roster.

"We’ve gone from players with one year left to players with two years left and just down the line until we filled those 50 seats," he said. "hat’s what we are doing right now. Obviously, I would love to see them all in there. Hopefully that will happen for this game. If not, they said they were going to re-evaluate it after September."

Even though the current state restrictions only remain in effect through the end of the month, they have already been extended twice and could be again.

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