North Carolina coach Roy Williams has lamented his freshmen not being able to experience running out of the tunnel onto the floor with a crowd cheering them on. They are about to get that chance.
UNC announced it will welcome back men’s basketball fans for its final two regular-season home games — including against Duke on March 6 — as well as its spring sports now that the state has eased some restrictions on attendance.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that indoor arenas with at least 5,000 seats will be allowed attendance at 15% capacity and outside stadiums will be allowed 30 percent capacity starting Friday.
Unfortunately for the general public wanting to see basketball games, the Tar Heels won’t be selling any seats for Saturday’s game against No. 11 Florida State or their regular-season home finale against the Blue Devils. UNC’s plan is to reserve 75% of its seats (about 2,400) for students distributed through its lottery system.
The remaining tickets (about 800) will go toward a mix of family members of players and coaches, UNC Hospitals health care workers and Rams Club members.
Those in attendance will still be required to socially distance at least six feet apart and wear masks.
Freshman guard R.J. Davis said that aspect of his year has been “disappointing,” but he welcomed the news of limited attendance.
“It’ll definitely be great just to have fans come in and watch our game and cheer us on,” Davis said Wednesday after losing to Marquette 83-70. “It definitely brings a different type of energy into the building.”
Men’s basketball is the only sport that will not sell tickets to the general public. Starting Friday, single-game tickets will be on sale for baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse with additional games, including men’s and women’s soccer, going on sale next week.
Tickets for all other UNC spring sports can be purchased at the respective event, based on availability.