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Larger outdoor venues can soon reopen at 7% capacity, Gov. Cooper says

The venues with a seating capacity of more than 10,000, will be able to open at 7% capacity starting next Friday, October 2.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Large outdoor event venues will be able to reopen in North Carolina, according to Governor Roy Cooper.

The venues with a seating capacity of more than 10,000, will be able to open at 7% capacity starting next Friday, October 2.

"We will continue analyzing our data as we determine how to move forward safely in other areas that may be included in the new order on October 2," Cooper said.

"In it, we hope to ease some other restrictions, while keeping in place safety protocols like masks and social distancing," he said.

The Carolina Panthers said they will allow some fans at Bank of America Stadium beginning with their next home game on October 4.

The Panthers released the following statement:

We are excited to welcome some fans back to Bank of America Stadium beginning Oct. 4, and we thank the state of North Carolina, the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for partnering with us in these efforts.

 We have worked for months to develop and implement a responsible and comprehensive plan for the return of fans and we are confident that it will ensure that the game day experience is enjoyable and as safe as possible.

 We will continue to follow guidelines provided by the CDC, local and state government as well as the National Football League, and will be prepared to adjust our policies as necessary.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway also issued a statement about the announcement. 

“We’re quickly processing the latest information regarding limited fan capacity from Governor Cooper.  We will have some direction soon for our fans who’ve purchased tickets to the Bank of America ROVAL 400 and accompanying events on our NASCAR Playoff weekend.”

NC State also released a statement, reacting to the news of the announcement.

"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 to," said Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan, "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 our next home game and will communicate next steps at the appropriate point." 

UNC said they're excited to welcome fans back, particularly parents and students who missed being in-person for the season opener. The university issued the following statement: 

"We are thrilled that we will be able to start welcoming spectators back to Kenan Stadium in October, and we are hopeful that the number of people allowed in our stadiums will safely increase as Fall progresses." 

UNC went onto say the university is working with health experts on plans for seating and concessions, with the health and safety of everyone being top priority.

Here's a list of upcoming home games for sporting events at various venues that could reopen to fans following Cooper's announcement. 

  • Carolina Panthers:  Sunday, Oct. 4 vs. Arizona
  • Wake Forest:   Friday, Oct. 9 vs. Campbell
  • North Carolina:  Saturday, Oct. 10 vs. Virginia Tech
  • NC State:  Saturday, Oct. 17 vs. Duke
  • Duke:  Saturday, Oct. 3 vs. Va. Tech
  • App State:  Wednesday, Oct. 7 vs. Louisiana