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'To say it’s a relief is an understatement' | NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill to allow football players’ parents at home games

According to CBS affiliate WNCN, UNC-Chapel Hill football spokesman Jeremy Sharpe said Tar Heel players will have two tickets for their families at home games.

N.C. State and UNC-Chapel Hill will allow a limited number of parents to attend home football games, according to CBS affiliate WNCN.

WNCN reported the announcement comes a day after a group of N.C. State players’ parents asked Gov. Roy Cooper by petition to explain why they couldn’t be at the game if following appropriate social distancing and mask protocols.

The station reported under Gov. Cooper’s Phase 2.5, gatherings of more than 50 are prohibited but more than 200 people are already in ACC football stadiums when games are in play.

Triad father JW Ray was one of those parents who petitioned the governor to let parents watch their kids in person. Ray has two kids with NC State football. His sons Joey and Logan used to play football at East Surry High School. 

"We went around to all the parents player parents and had them sign a petition and hand-delivered it yesterday to the governor's office and basically demanded some answers as to why a restaurant can have 500 people at one thousand-person capacity, but a stadium that holds 50,000 people can’t have 100 parents or 200 parents. That doesn’t make sense," said Ray. 

N.C. State spokesman Fred Demarest said the school is allowed to have 350 people in attendance Saturday against Wake Forest at Carter-Finley Stadium, according to WNCN.

Demarest said a total of 250 seats will be used by N.C. State – two seats for each Wolfpack player for their parents.

Wake Forest will have the remaining 100 seats, Demarest said.

Ray said he's relieved to know he'll be able to watch his son's game in person. 

"Oh my God! To be able to see my kids? It’s unbelievable!" said Raye, "First home game, opening of the season. It’s so much better to see it in person versus on TV and be there to support our kids it’s just an unbelievable experience."

Credit: JW Ray

The station reported UNC-Chapel Hill football spokesman Jeremy Sharpe said Tar Heel players will now have access to a minimum of two tickets for their families at home games.

According to the station, Duke spokesman Art Chase said the Blue Devils “will not have spectators” at their home opener Saturday against Boston College.

The Wolfpack and Demon Deacons will kickoff at 8 p.m. on the ACC Network. This is the first game of the year for N.C. State after their original season opener against Virginia Tech was delayed two weeks due to COVID-19 within the Wolfpack program.

The station said the Tar Heels were slated to play Charlotte on Saturday but concerns over COVID-19 in the 49er program canceled the game.

No. 12 UNC-CH will next play at Boston College on Oct. 3, according to WNCN.

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