New Guidelines Will Allow Some Fans at Games

Brett Friedlander

Only about 350 family members were allowed in Carter-Finley Stadium for Saturday's season opening game against Wake Forest.

Even more will be able to watch from the stands when the Wolfpack returns for its next home game against Duke on Oct. 10.

On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper amended his restrictions for outdoor public gatherings around the state in response to the coronavirus pandemic to allow up to 7% capacity at large entertainment venues that can seat more than 10,000 people.

The change is set to go into effect on Oct. 2, meaning that 4,030 fans can be admitted to the State's 57,583-seat stadium.

“We will continue analyzing our data and indicators as we determine how to move forward safely in other areas that may be included in the new order on October 2nd," Cooper said in announcing the changes. "In it, we hope to ease some other restrictions, while still keeping safety protocols like masks, social distancing, and mass gathering limits in place."

Cooper said that large outdoor arenas are safer than indoor event venues because they allow “plenty of room” for social distancing. Masks would still be expected to be worn.

It has not yet been determined how State will handle distribution of the limited number of tickets it will have available.

"We have a tremendous atmosphere at Carter-Finley Stadium and our goal throughout this process has been to make every effort to have spectators in the stands in whatever capacity we're permitted," State athletic director Boo Corrigan said in a statement. "We will continue to work with the state government, county and all appropriate authorities on the safest and most responsible conditions within our grounds, but we are grateful to be able to reintroduce a portion of fans within our stadium. We have several weeks until the next home game and will communicate steps at the appropriate point." 

Currently, crowds are limited to groups of 50, although the governor issued an exception last week that allowed for up to 500 family members to attend Saturday's game against the Deacons. The ruling also applies to home games at North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest and other state schools.

The change came a day after a group of Wolfpack football parents delivered a petition to Cooper's office stating that there's enough room at Carter-Finley for fewer for family members attend while remaining socially distanced.

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