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Oakland Panthers Opening Night To Take Place Without Fans

March 11, 2020 - Indoor Football League (IFL) - Oakland Panthers News Release

Oakland, CA - Our fans' safety and well-being is our top priority. After consultation with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, the city of Oakland and Alameda County, the Oakland Panthers' inaugural game against the Iowa Barnstormers on Saturday, March 14 will NOT host fans at Oakland Arena. The opening game (and all subsequent home games) will still be televised live on the KBCW 44 and all games, home and away will be broadcast live on KNBR 1050. We have also postponed our March 12 kick-off rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

As good neighbors of our East Bay community, the Oakland Panthers are committed to helping limit the spread of the outbreak to at-risk persons. The Oakland Panthers organization will continue to closely monitor the latest developments regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) globally and locally to determine its potential impact on our fans, players, staff and game-day operations. The Oakland Panthers will refund all opening night tickets, fans should reach out to their point of purchase (TicketMaster, Oakland Arena box office, etc.) for refund details.

We acknowledge that the anxiety many of us feel around COVID-19 may temper the excitement a new sports team brings to a community. The CDC recommends healthy individuals without symptoms of illness should continue their daily activities, while still practicing recommended preventive actions.

Team President Scott McKibben commented, "Sports teams have a responsibility as community leaders. We are choosing to postpone in-person fan interaction to model the social distancing public health officials are recommending at this time. This is an important moment for our community and fans to unite in protecting vulnerable populations. We are proud to help lead the way in taking steps to protect our fans and the Greater East Bay."

Co-owner Roy Choi stated, "We have been overwhelmed by the positive support the Panthers have received from the Oakland community, but the health and safety of our fans, employees, and players remains our top priority."

Through public health organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), we are staying up to date on the latest updates and developments as they occur. We will continue to follow the prevention and recommendations laid out by these organizations, in conjunction with our local public health officials.                  

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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