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No fans at UNC fall sporting events, AD announces

Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham announced there will be no fans at North Carolina Tar Heels sporting events in September, including football.
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
University of North Carolina Tar Heel fans celebrate a touchdown in a game against the Duke Blue Devils November 7, 2015 in Chapel Hill, NC. North Carolina defeated Duke 66-31. (Margaret Bowles via AP Images

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham announced Friday that no fans will be allowed when the fall sports season begins due to COVID-19, including home football games. 

In a letter to season ticket holders, athletic donors and fans, Cunningham wrote in part, "attendance restriction will last through September, and we will continue to work with medical experts and the University to evaluate safety conditions with the hope that we can increase capacity in October." Cunningham also announced there will be no on-campus tailgating at events this fall. 

North Carolina's football season is scheduled to start September 12 vs Syracuse University. The ACC is one of three Power 5 conferences still planning to play football after the Big Ten and Pac-12 canceled their seasons earlier this month.

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Earlier this month, UNC-Chapel Hill moved all undergraduate classes online due to multiple coronavirus clusters in student housing both on and off campus. It's unclear when or if classes will return to in-person instruction. The most recent cluster was announced at Cobb residence hall on Thursday.

RELATED: 38 Belmont Abbey College students test positive for coronavirus

"We know this is disappointing to you – our fans, donors, and supporters -- and our venues will not be the same without you there. We will particularly miss the energy, passion and Carolina Blue support of our students, who truly make game day special and unique. This decision, however, was the only way we could move forward with competition. Our student-athletes want to play, and we must do so as safely as possible. We made this decision in consultation with medical experts, our University, and state and local officials," Cunningham wrote.

RELATED: NC State identifies 7 new COVID-19 clusters

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