Police are on high alert for the Carolina Panthers' home game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in Charlotte after learning that protesters are planning to block entrances to the stadium, according to sources.
A source told ESPN's Michael Eaves that police received word Saturday night that protesters will gather Sunday morning at Marshall Park, about a mile from Bank of America Stadium, and will march down to the stadium and try to block all of its entrances -- even those for the players and officials.
However, players arriving at the stadium Sunday morning by bus were not having an issue, according to ESPN's David Newton. Sunday's game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET.
The news comes after the game was declared an "extraordinary event" by Charlotte interim city manager Ron Kimble on Saturday night. According to the city's news release, an extraordinary event is defined as a "large-scale event or an event of national or international significance which might attract a significant number of people to a certain geographic area of the city."
The designation allows the city to "modify its permitting process for activities such as parades and specifies particular items that are prohibited from being brought into certain boundaries of the event."
There have been both peaceful demonstrations and violent protests in Charlotte every day since Tuesday night, when a black Charlotte police officer shot and killed 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, who is also black, in an apartment complex parking lot about 15 minutes from Bank of America Stadium.
The protests moved within a few blocks of the stadium on Wednesday night, turning violent with gunshots, vandalism and police setting off tear gas bombs in an attempt to break up the protesters.
Protests in Charlotte were peaceful on Saturday night, and Panthers president Danny Morrison told ESPN's Britt McHenry, "We are good to go" for Sunday.
Morrison also explained that during the offseason, the team built four new security posts around the stadium, adding 95 walk-through metal detectors. The team also expanded its camera coverage and added more explosive-detection dogs.
As the Panthers get set for the game, NFL players have been thinking and talking all week about next-level protests for the Black Lives Matter movement, according to multiple sources.
The specifics remain vague, as players are apprehensive about saying too much beforehand, according to sources.
Players are trying to think of how they can make a stand Sunday and beyond, and it's a real issue in locker rooms across the NFL, yet it's hard to pinpoint a centralized, functional plan. But it definitely is legitimate, according to multiple sources. Players were talking throughout the week and everyone is aware that, in the words of one source, "there's a big issue brewing."
The NFL's new vice president of security, Cathy Lanier, is attending Sunday's game to represent the league and get her first taste of life as a non-law-enforcement official.
Lanier left her job as the Washington, D.C., police chief last week and joined the NFL. One of her first issues was how the league would handle the tumultuous situation outside the stadium where the Panthers play.
Lanier will be going through all the security meetings and protocols as she acclimates to her new job. She will be joined by NFL chief operating officer Tod Leiweke.
The NFL defers to government entities to handle protests and is more concerned about security inside and outside the stadiums.
ESPN's David Newton, Adam Schefter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.