Ahead of UNC vs. Duke, Chapel Hill town leaders warn against rushing Franklin Street again

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Franklin Street was quiet Friday night, and many hoping it remains that way as UNC prepares to take on Duke at home Saturday. 

“I don’t want to get sick I have a life to live,” said a UNC Freshman.

“I’m hoping people make smarter choices this go around,” said a UNC Junior.

The last time the rivals matched up it resulted in hundreds of students rushing Franklin Street, blocking traffic, and starting small fires. 

Chapel Hill leaders now saying no large crowds or celebrations will be allowed on Franklin street if UNC wins. As outdoor crowds of more than 50 people remain prohibited. However officials didn’t specify if people will be cited if they show up anyways.

UNC police will provide extra officers to support Chapel Hill police on Franklin Street and around the Dean Smith Center Saturday. But both remain tight-lipped about what their enforcement will consist of.

“COVID doesn’t take a break for our games and celebrations and neither should we,” said Amy Johnson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

School leaders reminded students that non-compliance is a violation of community guidelines. 

Meantime nearby businesses are hoping for a safe but still profitable weekend.

“We hope the students abide by the chancellor’s rules but we still hope that they come out and support the businesses and support the team,” said Cathy Starks, Jed’s Kitchen Co-Owner.

Town and school leaders ask that people attend a virtual watch party instead of rushing Franklin Street.

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