Weather changes students' viewing plans at He's Not

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Due to a tornado warning Monday evening, He’s Not Here canceled its outdoor screening plans for the NCAA championship game.

Harsh weather Monday night caused trouble for Tar Heel fans looking to watch the game outside at screenings hosted by different venues around Chapel Hill.

Fleming Fuller, general manager at He's Not Here, said the decision to cancel their screening wasn't easy, but he felt it was the best thing to do given the circumstances.

"We had gotten confirmation from the projection company that we could do the screening in the rain," Fuller said. "But then they started saying there would be wind gusts and a tornado warning." 

Fuller said he canceled the outdoor portion of the screening early in the afternoon, rather than waiting until just before tip-off, to avoid leaving fans with little time to find another place to watch the game. He expressed concern that the wind gusts and lightning would have compromised the safety of viewers. 

Celia Vitale, a senior at UNC, had planned to watch the game at He's Not but just missed out on getting an indoor seat. 

"We got our names on the list, but they ran out of inside tickets like five people before my friends, so we had outside tickets," Vitale said.

Vitale and her friends were told the screening was canceled around 1:30 p.m. — so they needed to look for a new place to watch the game. 

"I actually ended up going to Country Fried Duck, and it was first-come-first-serve, $10 cover," Vitale said. "We just kind of camped out all day from like 2 p.m. until the game, and that's where we ended up." 

Not all outside watch parties were canceled, however. Pantana Bob's was one of several venues that decided to screen the game, despite the forecasts of poor weather.

Corey LaPrade, manager at Pantana Bob's, said that he would have canceled had the weather become too severe, but he didn't expect it to be necessary.

"Most of our venue is inside, so I didn't think it would really be a concern," LaPrade said. "We had a tent out there to protect people from the rain."

Vitale said that customers who bought an outdoor ticket to watch at He's Not were told that there would be a reimbursement process and to keep an eye on social media, the only way that He's Not would be able to contact everyone eligible for a refund.

Fuller said that He's Not is taking steps to ensure that everyone who bought a wristband to watch at the canceled would receive a refund.

"We've been reimbursing people that come in, in person," Fuller said. "We also have all the credit card transactions, so we're going through those as well." 

Fuller also said that He's Not is planning an appreciation night that will likely be either a custom glass or bar night.

"This is not something we do ever, this large of a wristband projector screening," Fuller said. "So, when you're in a situation where the variables are changing like this, you're constantly coming up with new strategies to deal with it."

city@dailytarheel.com 

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