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Fans rejoice as mask mandate lifted hours before Charlotte Knights game

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 10:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The change to the mask mandate means you can leave the mask off indoors and out, and people can gather in large venues again. But the late news had some businesses rushing to get ready for higher anticipated crowds.

Friday night, the Charlotte Knights found themselves with only a few hours’ notice before the gates opened and crowds pouring in.

“Pretty good day folks. Welcome to one-hundred percent,” saidDan Rajkowski with the Charlotte Knights.

It was a day both the Charlotte Knights as well as their fans have been looking forward to.

“We’re season ticket owners and we haven’t been here in a year and it feels great,” Rajkowski told WBTV.

In his weekly press conference, Governor Roy Cooper announced a radically different change of course then the one we’ve been on since the start of the pandemic. Social distancing and crowd limitations have been rescinded. Most mask mandates have also been lifted. In a nutshell, life is back off hold.

While the decision was applauded, it caught a lot of people off guard, and sent companies scrambling for resources.

“We’re going to try to ramp this up. With ticket-takers, sellers and concessions,” Rajkowski said.

As the gates open and fans made their way into Friday night’s ballgame Uptown, remnants of the old mask order were quickly tossed aside. And fans couldn’t be happier.

“It’s nice to be back to reality,” said Betsey Huffman.

“It’s still fun to see whole faces and to see what people look like,” Diane Quilty told us.

Some were still playing it safe.

“I need to see who I’m going to be around first and then when I get to our area I’m going to take it off,” said Sharon Gooden.

Still others had different concerns about dropping the mask.

“Now I have to wear makeup,” said Isabelle Barrio.

A sellout crowd for the Knights is usually about ten thousand but they’ve only prepared for about three-thousand. Management here tells me it’s going to take a while before they can see a packed house again.

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