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No fans in the stands helps boost Charlotte restaurants

At Steamers Sports Pub, there wasn't a shortage of excitement for football to start again, but the owner says the pandemic has been a big blow to his business.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Coronavirus is the opponent that no team prepared for this season. The Panthers returned to action Sunday, but no fans were allowed in the stadium.

The Panthers' return without fans in the stands is making a possible boost for businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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At Steamers Sports Pub, there wasn't a shortage of excitement for football to start again, but the owner says the pandemic has been a big blow to his business.

"We spent a lot of time building what we had," Nolan said.

Social distancing and masks were enforced, and the restaurant allowed only 50% capacity.

"We had to turn a few people away," Nolan said.

Nolan said it brings good money to his business, but it's not the same cash flow as before the pandemic. 

"Grateful that we were at least able to have the 50%, that's better than zero," he said. "But it would've been better if we were 100%." 

The limitations are serving as a constant reminder for many that we're still in the age of COVID-19.

RELATED: Panther fans hold drive-thru tailgate while no fans are allowed in the stadium

"If we don't follow them we could go backward, and we don't want to go backward," Nolan said.

Nolan always says his customers followed safety protocols, some people did have to be reminded. 

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