Game day, Covid-19 edition: What to expect at Panthers’ games (and other sporting events)

Game day, Covid-19 edition: What to expect at Panthers’ games (and other sporting events)
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For the first time since December 2019, Bank of America Stadium will have fans inside it cheering on the Panthers this Sunday.

There won’t be many, around 5,200, and they’ll be spaced at least six feet apart. But, it’s a small step toward what a normal football season in Charlotte would look like.

On September 22, Governor Roy Cooper announced that large, outdoor stadiums could bring back fans at seven percent capacity. Previously, aside from a few exceptions for family members, North Carolina’s stadiums were closed to spectators.

During a press conference this week Tom Glick, president of the Carolina Panthers, said the organization has been working on Covid safety plans since March. “I’m really happy for our Panthers players and our coaches having fans in the building does make a difference, there’s a connection there with the crowd,” Glick said.

[Related Agenda story: FAQ: What to expect at bars, movie theaters, and other businesses in Charlotte as N.C. moves into phase 3]

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Bank of America Stadium

Getting ticketsMost of the people with tickets to Sunday’s game against the Cardinals are season-ticket holders. But as of Thursday afternoon about 275 tickets were left for Sunday’s game on the Ticket Exchange resale site. Most range from $135 to $255, and they’re all on the lower levels.

Tickets will now include a specific gate number to enter and exit through to reduce congestion.

Permanent Seat License holders: PSL holders who opted into buying tickets this season can purchase a two-game ticket package, plus the option to add the Arizona game. Ticket selection is online, and the time of the PSL purchasing windows are assigned based on seniority. In other words, the longer you’ve owned a PSL, the earlier your window of time is to purchase.

Attending the game: Covid safety precautions will make the game day experience much different. All ticket holders will be asked to confirm that they haven’t tested positive for coronavirus in the last two weeks and that they haven’t had a fever over the last two days.

Everyone will be seated in groups spaced out every other row with two seats in between each group.

All fans are required to wear masks unless actively eating or drinking; staff will do the same. Staff will also undergo daily temperature checks. The stadium has more cleaning staff and has enhanced its cleaning protocol. Hand sanitizer will be dispersed throughout the stadium but attendees can also bring their own small bottles.

Concessions: Bank of America Stadium is cashless this year. Fans should pre-pay and pre-order concessions for pick-up. Common areas like picnic areas and club lounges will be closed.

Bank of America stadium empty

Watching from home

If you’re not comfortable watching a game in person or can’t score tickets, there are still options for home-gating.

College athletics

Each collegiate sports conference and individual university is handling fans differently, and some haven’t yet made announcements regarding fans attending games in-person.

UNC Charlotte only has three remaining home games. The 49ers’ September games at UNC and at home Georgia State were either canceled or postponed. It’s unclear whether fans will be permitted to attend the final three home games.

In July the CIAA, the conference Johnson C. Smith University is a part of, cancelled the fall sports season due to coronavirus.

Davidson’s fall sports seasons were postponed by the Atlantic 10 Conference and the Pioneer Football League (which is home to Wildcat football).


Related Agenda stories: Why the upcoming high school sports season could be life changing for CMS student-athletes

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