CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- As the Panthers prepare to take on the Los Angeles Chargers across the country in California, some changes are happening to Bank of America Stadium at home,
According to Gov. Roy Cooper, large outdoor venues and stadiums that are expected to open up next week to fans at seven percent capacity.
Needless to say the Panthers are excited to get some fans back in the seats, But how did North Carolina health officials come up with that number?
It may seem like an arbitrary number, but the state says it’s a way to safely make sure fans have plenty of space once they get inside.
“On outdoor events wanted to make sure talking about plenty of space,” said Dr. Mindy Sampson, an infectious disease expert with Atrium Health in Charlotte.
Space that will ensure people can spread out and properly social distance.
“I know DHHS has numerous conversations colleges, sports teams want to open doors with seven percent in the coming weeks,” Gov. Cooper said.
For the Carolina Panthers, that means around 5,200 fans will be allowed in for the Oct. 4 home game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Without going into specifics, the organization says they have worked for months preparing. In a statement a team spokesperson says: “We are confident that it will ensure that the game day experience is enjoyable and as safe as possible. “
“We think it’s really important for these arenas to have separate entrances and not have places where people can congregate or people who live in same households or in same families can sit together,” Gov. Cooper said.
Dr. Sampson says while COVID-19 is still in our community, people still need to keep the basics in mind as venues open up.
“I there’s a possibility in a good way to introduce the events in our community,” said Sampson. “Doing things smart and careful and safely are really important and making sure we do use our masks, outdoor events, distancing at least six feet and making sure we’re still washing our hands and doing good hand hygiene.”
The Panthers could certainly use some of the encouragement that comes from having fans in the stands.
“Being able to get back in the stadium would be great,” one Carolina fan told FOX 46.
After the loss of All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey in Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, the Panthers are looking to realign their offense in the upcoming game against the Chargers.
“Hopefully they’ll get some fans that will help them out and yeah that would be good for them.”
McCaffrey is expected to miss “multiple weeks” with a high right ankle sprain. The Panthers (0-2) will turn to Mike Davis as their starting running back when they visit the Chargers this Sunday.