In not-so-shocking news, the Carolina Panthers announced on Monday that the team will play its season opening game with no fans. The Panthers are scheduled to host the Las Vegas Raiders on September 13 at Bank of America Stadium. The team released this following open letter to fans:
“To our fans –
Despite our best efforts, we are deeply disappointed to share that you will not be with us at Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 13 when we open the season against Las Vegas.
We will not allow an empty stadium to affect our performance on the field, but your presence gives us an undeniable edge.
We have worked tirelessly since March to develop and implement a responsible, comprehensive plan to ensure that your game day experience is enjoyable and as safe as possible. Based on the guidelines outlined in Phase 2 of North Carolina’s reopening plan, and our health and safety plan, we are confident that we can safely host a limited number of fans.
This is not a choice between a full stadium or an empty stadium. We have offered compromises and alternatives. We will continue reaching out to government officials regarding options for future games.
Safety measures we are prepared to implement include a face covering requirement and temperature checks for all fans and staff as well as enhanced cleaning procedures. We have also planned for and tested new ways for fans to enter and move safely around Bank of America Stadium.
Honeywell, a world leader in developing solutions for major venues and events, has customized PPE packs with our fans in mind and is deploying solutions to monitor air quality throughout the facility. In addition, infectious disease experts have shared scientific data to inform our decisions and fill critical gaps in mitigating the spread of the virus.
We recognize the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and will follow guidelines outlined by government and public health officials. And, we will continue to seek alternatives regarding the return of fans for the 2020 season and will share updates as appropriate.
We encourage you to stay safe, and we hope to see you soon.
Your Carolina Panthers”
North Carolina has remained in Phase Two since May 22. Governor Roy Cooper is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday regarding continued restrictions.