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What COVID-19 protocols fans can expect for Carolina Panthers first home preseason game

This year COVID-19 is still top of mind as cases continue to surge, and safety precautions are in place.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers will be playing their first game in Bank of America Stadium this year.

They're taking on the Ravens in a pre-season matchup Saturday at 7 p.m. 

"We are very excited to welcome back a full capacity crowd to Uptown Charlotte,"  spokesperson for the City of Charlotte Cory Burkarth said.

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This year COVID-19 is still top of mind as cases continue to surge, and safety precautions are in place. 

"Our goal was to make sure that this was the safest possible stadium in the NFL," Carolina Panthers Director of Security and Infection Control Officer Ed Levins said.

To keep fans safe, all guests and staff must wear a mask in indoor spaces, including indoor concourses on the 300 and 400 levels. If you are not fully vaccinated you're encouraged to wear a mask at all times. If you plan on going to the game using public transit you have to wear a mask as well.

"Whether it's a bus, the commuter rail, federal law mandates that masks be worn,"  Burkarth said. 

The stadium will be allowed full capacity which is almost 75,000 seats. There will still be cashless transactions, mobile ticketing, enhanced cleaning procedures, and hand sanitizing stations throughout the stadium.

Burkarth offers some advice for those who are tailgating.

"Be aware of close proximity to others especially folks you may not be familiar with, just because we are allowing fully capacity crows doesn't mean that you shouldn't take any precautions to protect yourself. Continue to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer," Burkarth said. 

The City of Charlotte anticipates an increase of visitors Uptown for the August 21 Carolina Panthers pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens. 

As special events continue, Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) officials encourage visitors to consider traffic impacts and plan their trip ahead of time. 

Residents and visitors traveling in the area are also encouraged to utilize alternative transportation options including walking, biking, ride-sharing and public transit.

Transit officials will monitor crowds and adjust service levels as needed. In compliance with the current Transit Security Administration (TSA) mandate, all riders must continue to wear face masks while on board transit services.

Ways to Stay Informed

Safety Tips

  • Pedestrians should:
    • Wear bright clothing at night.
    • Walk facing traffic.
    • Remove headphones and remain alert.
    • Cross safely when exiting the bus.
    • Watch for turning vehicles.
    • Take caution in parking lots and around the train and light rail tracks.
  • Cyclists should:
    • Wear bright clothing at night.
    • Wear a helmet.
    • Ride with traffic.
    • Obey all traffic signals and signs.
    • Use hand signals.
    • Look before entering traffic and changing lanes.
  • Motorists should:
    • Make sure your lights are on at night.
    • Yield to pedestrians.
    • Look for pedestrians and cyclists when turning.
    • Obey all traffic signals and signs.
    • Use your turning signal.
    • Travel cautiously.

Burkarth says protecting yourself and others is critical as Uptown tries to bounce back. 

"If health things go in the right direction and we see an increase in that kind of activity I know our city council, Mecklenburg County board of commission want to see businesses thriving in Uptown," Burkarth said. 

Contact Lexi Wilson at lwilson@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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