The Carolina Panthers announced on Monday that Bank of America Stadium will not host any fans in their Week 1 matchup versus the Las Vegas Raiders on Sept. 13.
The team had been hoping to have at least reduced seating at Bank of America Stadium this season, which holds a little over 75,000 people, but that plan will not happen for at least the first game.
"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," the team said in a letter to fans. "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."
In the letter, the Panthers said that they will continue to reach out to government officials for future game options.
Carolina's Week 1 game is their only home game in the month of September. Their next game is scheduled for Oct. 4.
"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," the letter said. "We have also planned for and tested new ways for fans to enter and move safely around Bank of America Stadium."
Media members were able to see some of the precautions placed around the stadium recently while attending practices.
North Carolina remains in Phase 2 of reopening, which is currently set to expire on Sept. 11, and Mecklenburg County health director Gibbie Harris says the Panthers have put together a comprehensive plan to reopen.
"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," the Panthers said.
Carolina will have more updates on future games soon.
"We will not allow an empty stadium to affect our performance on the field, but your presence gives us an undeniable edge," the team said."