City employees hold Panthers pep rally; CATS preparing for gameday crowds

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The excitement in Charlotte is building with the Panthers playoff game just two days away.

Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon declared Friday, "Fan Friday" and Eyewitness News caught the mayor and city employees celebrating. They held a pep rally at the government center and it was led by Mayor Cannon.

Most of the employees in attendance were wearing Panthers colors and said they are expecting a big win on Sunday.

With the Panthers hosting a divisional playoff game this, CATS bus workers are gearing up for a very busy Sunday -– anticipating ridership numbers to be nearly double what they are on a normal day.

CATS workers said it would help alleviate unnecessary traffic if fans would hop on the bus or the light rail and walk to the stadium. They have been preparing all week long for the crowds.

On a normal Sunday, CATS have just over 6,000 riders, but this Sunday they're expecting 11,000 or more. To accommodate the heavy traffic, CATS will place staff members at light rail stations to help instruct people. They'll also increase the number of available trains.

“What we are doing on the rail side is we will be operating every 10 minutes from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and we will be operating our two-car trains,” said CATS manager Jean Leier.

On a normal Sunday, those trains would only come every 20 minutes.