ECU won't have fans at home football opener

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- East Carolina's season-opening football game against UCF on September 26 in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium will be played without fans in the stands because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the university announced Wednesday.

"This is disappointing news to deliver to Pirate Nation," Athletics Director Jon Gilbert said. "Currently, it is in the best interest to proceed without fans for our first home game after consulting with local and state health officials. We are optimistic we will be able to host fans in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium during the 2020 season at the appropriate time."

The UCF contest will include only essential game management and broadcast personnel, and a limited number of media members.

Parking lots operated by the University and used by fans on gameday will be closed.

ECU Athletics will continue to work with University, local and state health officials to determine capacity for the remaining four home games.

Previously, ECUpostponed its football home opener against Marshall on September 12.

The Pirates and Thundering Herd hope to reschedule that game.

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