WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Tar Heel football team opened the 2020 football season with a, 31-6, victory over Syracuse at Kenan Stadium.
But there were no fans in the stands to see it.
Former New Hanover standout Garrett Walston scored a touchdown in the win. It was one of the first games his father David Walston missed seeing his son play in person.
The governor’s plan to allow venues with seating of 10,000 or more to have seven percent capacity means he won’t have to miss any more.
“It will be exciting for the players,” said David Walton. “Watching these games without fans and piping in crowd noise, it’s like a scrimmage or a practice. But to have some support, family support, fan support, it’s huge.”
UNC’s Kenan Stadium holds 50,500 fans, operating at seven percent capacity would allow about 3,535 people in the seats for the next home game.
Jermaine Williams plans to be one of them, to watch his son, Javonte, line up at running back.
“As long as everyone does what they’re supposed to do,” said Williams. “Keep your face covered, hands washed and social distance, we should be good.”
The Carolina Panthers would also be able to have fans at home games inside Bank of America stadium.
NFL fans say they’re glad to have the chance to see their favorite pro teams in person.
“If you feel the way you feel about the COVID...if you feel threatened about anything you have going on,” said Jeffery Gerish. “I would say not to go. But me, personally, I would go because I love my packers.”
“I would tell everyone to be as precautious as they can,” said Craig Zammit. “Do what they have to do. If they feel any certain kind of way, stay home. But, at the end of the day, I’m a guy and I got to have that football if you know what I mean.”