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Duke announces fall season will start without fans at games

Duke announces fall season will start without fans at games

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Duke will not have fans at fall sports games to begin the year, the school announced Monday morning.

Duke is the first of the seven FBS programs in the state to make such an announcement. The Blue Devils’ first home football game is Sept. 19 against Boston College.

“Given the unique and challenging circumstances, this determination was reached with the health and safety of our fans, student-athletes, coaches and staff at the forefront,” Athletics Director Kevin White said through a news release. “As this evolving process continues, it is imperative to be both adaptable and compliant in anticipation of hosting fans in the near future.”

It's not clear how long Duke's restrictions will be in effect. Gov. Roy Cooper's Phase Two orders are in effect through Sept. 11 and limit outdoor gatherings to 25 people.

Duke's first scheduled football game is Sept. 12 at Notre Dame, and Boston College will be the first opponent to visit Wallace Wade Stadium on Sept. 19. 

The ACC announced in late July that the start of its fall sports seasons would be delayed until the week of Sept. 7-12. Duke has not announced 2020 schedules for its men’s and women's cross country, field hockey, men’s and women's soccer and volleyball teams.

Games at Duke will include essential game management and personnel and broadcast media, the release says. Parking lots used by fans will be closed.

Fans who purchased season or single-game tickets for football will receive an e-mail regarding options. 

Duke also has unveiled an initiative in which fans can buy cut-outs to be placed in the stands, with pricing ranging from $95 to $200 for one cut-out.

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@ConorONeillWSJ

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