GREENVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- East Carolina University has postponed its football home opener against Marshall on September 12 in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pirates and Thundering Herd hope to reschedule the game, ECU Athletics Director Jon Gilbert said Thursday.
"We are disappointed we won't be able to host Marshall for our season-opener, but our top priority remains the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, fans and our community," Gilbert said. "Mike Hamrick and Marshall have been tremendous to work with as we work to reschedule the game."
The Pirates are now scheduled to open the 2020 season September 26 against UCF in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, according to a revised American Athletic Conference schedule also released Thursday..
ECU still hopes to have fans in the stands for games.
"We anticipate having fans in the stadium in 2020 and will be implementing safety measures and COVID-19 protocols in conjunction with local health officials," Gilbert said. "This continues to be a fluid situation and we can't wait to all be together again in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium rooting on the Pirates. The support of Pirate Nation means everything to our athletic department and we continue to ask for your patience and understanding. It's imperative we continue to look out for each other and stay safe as we go through this pandemic."
In addition to the UCF contest, the AAC announced that East Carolina's game at Cincinnati was moved from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14.
North Carolina State University also postponed its upcoming season-opening football game.
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UNC paused its athletic activity last week after a COVID-19 outbreak as well, but the university was able to resume practices Monday.
Meanwhile, Duke University has already announced that no fans would be allowed at home football games this year.