Welcome Back: UNC Releases Statement Regarding the Return of Fans

The Dean Dome may not look normal but it's as close to normal we'll get in an unusual year of sports

The Dean Dome may not look normal, but it's as close to normal we'll get in an unusual year of sports. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced earlier this week the decision to lift the 10 pm statewide curfew and ease COVID restrictions - in other words, fans are back.

UNC will be allowed at least 3,000 occupants for the remaining two home games. Approximately 75% of the tickets will be made available to students through a lottery, and the remaining will be made exclusive for families of the team and UNC Healthcare workers.

Per UNC release:

Under NC Executive Order 195, outside stadiums will be allowed 30 percent capacity, and indoor arenas with at least 5,000 seats will be allowed 15 percent capacity beginning at 5 pm on Friday, February 26.

Our staff has worked closely with the University and local health officials to formulate a plan that will emphasize community standards. Visitors will be required to sit at least six feet apart, masks will be required, and everyone is expected to continue to do everything they can to keep each other safe.

For our final two home, men's basketball games, Saturday vs. Florida State and March 6 vs. Duke, approximately 75 percent (about 2,400) of the available tickets will be reserved for Carolina students via the student lottery system. Other ticket blocks will be available to the families of student-athletes and coaches, health care workers from UNC Hospitals, and a small number of donors (The Rams Club will reach out directly to donors who will have an opportunity to attend). No tickets will be available for sale. More information will be shared with students very shortly from our Ticket Office about the lottery, and we are excited to invite so many Tar Heel students back to the Smith Center.

During his pre-game press conference, Roy Williams spoke of the return of fans and what that can do for the team, especially the freshmen who have yet to have a true Carolina experience,

"I've been there before when it's 21,750 screaming and going crazy; it's a phenomenal feeling running out the tunnel," Williams stated. "It's not going to be that, but it is going to be a lot better, and I think the kids will enjoy it."