On Monday afternoon, Tar Heel athletic director Bubba Cunningham sent a letter to current season ticket holders about the plan for football games at Kenan Stadium in 2020. Here is the full statement that was sent out:
Dear Tar Heel Family,
For our Carolina student-athletes, summer means preparing for another year of winning – both in the classroom and in competition. While this June and July have seemed incredibly different – remote classes, Zoom workouts, online meetings – in many ways it has been no different, as our Tar Heels have continued to display an inspiring amount of determination, focus and thoughtfulness.
We were thrilled to welcome back some of our student-athletes in June, even more in July, and we can't wait to greet the balance of our teams in August along with the rest of the student body. We continue to stress to everyone the importance of maintaining their health and creating a safe environment for everyone's return in preparation for 2020-21. One important key for all of us: Please wear a mask, as requested by so many of our coaches and student-athletes (Football, Field Hockey, Women's Basketball and Rameses).
The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, visitors and Carolina Community will continue to be our priority as we continue to make decisions about fall sports and how we may welcome you back to campus. As you likely know, the Atlantic Coast Conference has announced that all competition is delayed until at least September 1. We also anticipate additional updates from the ACC about schedules and competition within the next couple of weeks. Carolina Athletics will continue to work closely with our University, conference, state and national officials, and health experts to guide our planning and help us create a safe and memorable gameday experience.
Much of the attention nationally has been on football and how we might operate this season. Many decisions remain about the future of the season – whether and when we will be able to play, how schedules may be altered, what a safe fan capacity will be in our stadium, and what game day may look like on campus.
We continue to plan for football to be played this season. Working with that key assumption, we want to make you aware of some information that will be shared in more detail in the coming days and weeks.
Kenan Stadium fan capacity will be reduced. Data and trends regarding the Covid-19 pandemic continue to provide moving targets for decisions, but reduced fan capacity in Kenan Stadium will be a necessity. We are planning for multiple scenarios and will continue to work with University and state officials as well as health experts to determine the appropriate level of capacity, which may vary throughout the season. The decision will affect how we handle tickets.
Reduced capacity means that ticket availability and seat locations will be changed for fans to accommodate physical distancing. For this reason, Carolina Athletics will NOT distribute tickets in a season ticket format for this season. We are developing a process to offer tickets for individual games (see below). Fans who have ordered season tickets will receive a communication from the Carolina Ticket Office with more information about their ticket order in the very near future. No action needs to be taken at this time. Options for those fans:
Donate your season ticket purchase to Carolina Athletics as a potentially tax-deductible gift. The financial outlook for our 28-sport program is challenging as we face greatly reduced revenue streams while supporting opportunities for more than 800 student-athletes. Donating your ticket purchase will help address those financial challenges while earning you valuable Rams Club priority points.
Roll over your 2020 season ticket order toward your 2021 season ticket order.
Receive a refund. Your ticket purchase can be refunded to you in full.
An individual game request system will be used to offer all ticket opportunities in 2020. The process will be finalized and announced as soon as possible. Please note that the individual game request process will be an entirely new request and purchase and will require action from anyone wishing to see the Tar Heels this season. Your decision to purchase individual game tickets in 2020 will not affect your season ticket priority in 2021. Rams Club priority will continue to drive access and seat assignments.
All tickets will move to a mobile/digital platform this season. By using digital ticketing exclusively, Carolina Athletics can offer contact-free entry to our home games and accommodate the necessary quick turnaround in ticket distribution.
We understand that the uncertainty about the fall sports seasons can be frustrating; we all want answers. Please know our focus remains on the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and Carolina community – you – which is why we are doing everything we can to determine the best answers. We will be in touch soon with important updates, including more details about game day for our other fall sports teams. Thank you for the continued support you provide to our student-athletes, our coaches, our athletics program and our University. We have challenges ahead of us, but we're confident that – with teammates like you – we can meet those challenges head on with the championship approach for which Carolina is known. Remember: #TogetherWeWin.
Director of Athletics
Rams Club Executive Director
REACTION: This definitely hurts, especially for season ticket holders who were excited to see this 2020 team. Ultimately, though, it feels like the right decision, as it gives each and every fan a fair chance to purchase what will likely be an extremely limited number of tickets for each game. While we knew that attendance would likely be limited, this a big blow for a 2020 Tar Heel team that has earned a lot of preseason hype and was set to continue their sellout streak and produce some amazing environments. The good news here is that it appears the ACC is doing everything possible to play football in the fall, something that should be exciting, but it looks like most of us will have to watch most of the games from our seats at home.