UNC ticket sales “tepid” for game at Maryland


Since some UNC fans were wondering why the UNC ticket office informed them that the UNC allotment had been sold out, I wanted to provide the updated from the author at the Washington Times:

By: pstevens


I just sent this in an e-mail to a curious Carolina fans, but figured I’d toss it out here as well:

Just heard back from Maryland officials, and here’s apparently what happened:

Maryland offers visiting schools 4,000 tickets. A school can accept whatever number of tickets it wants. North Carolina apparently only took 1,100-1,200 a month or so ago and declined the rest, which went back into the pool of available tickets to the general public.

As a result, when Carolina fans are calling Maryland’s ticket office now for tickets, they’re getting placed in the visiting team section anyway. So odds are, there will be plenty of Carolina blue at one end of Byrd.

So there was no deception on either end, just a crossed wire. Carolina did essentially sell out the portion of the tickets it accepted, and (like Maryland said) there were only roughly 1,100 tickets accepted by the visiting school.

And chances are, whatever surge in ticket sales this week will be at least equally attributable to Carolina fans buying up seats as it is Maryland fans wanting to see an important game for their team.

Original entry from Wednesday:

Nearly three-quarters of the unsold tickets come from a 4,000-seat block set aside for the visiting team. North Carolina has accounted for approximately 1,100 tickets, which is less than the 1,200 both N.C. State and Wake Forest sold for their games last month.

An educated guess as to why sales would be so tepid for fans of a 7-2 team enjoying its best season in a decade? Well, the top-ranked Carolina basketball team opens its season Saturday at 4 p.m., meeting Penn in the Dean Dome.

At this point, we are taking this report at face value in terms of accuracy. The numbers seems low to me considering the tens of thousands of other UNC fans around North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Only 23,600~ can fit in the Dean Dome. This seems like a perfect opportunity to show that UNC fans really do care about football after having 12,000 empty seats for a home game against Boston College just a few weeks ago.

Simply put, when it comes to big time college football, North Carolina leaves a good bit to be desired.

Oh sure, Kenan Stadium only seats 60,000 fans, and with 48,000 in attendance the stadium was 80 percent full, but still, you get the picture. With the Tar Heels in the midst of competing for a Coastal Division championship you’d expect a little more support from the fans, even if they are more concerned about the kind of toothpaste All-American forward Tyler Hansbrough prefers.

The problem here is North Carolina has been, and always will be a basketball school, and nobody short of the Dean Smith of college football coaches will ever be able to change that.

Not even Butch Davis.

And the curious aspect to all of this is whether or not he’s figured that out yet.

'08 Football Fans General

46 Responses to UNC ticket sales “tepid” for game at Maryland

  1. Tar Heel Fan 11/12/2008 at 10:34 AM #

    Maybe you guys ought to worry about your own football team rather than UNC.

    The UNC fan posting on an NC State website recommends us to worry about our team? Let’s keep this civil and reasonable. It is quite normal for rivals to follow what is going on with each other or else I can’t figure out why else you would be posting here. Not to mention that the “football culture” at UNC has been a topic of discussion with reports that Butch Davis is again being targeted by other schools.

    Besides that, citing that Clemson article which failed to mention that the 12,000 empty seats probably had a lot to do with (1) it was raining (2) it was a noon game and (3) it was Boston College.

    (1) It stopped raining before kickoff that day and the weather was beautiful most of the day. (2) Noon games wouldn’t matter for most fan bases of top 25 teams (neither would weather). (3) Boston College was a top 25 opponent and 5-1, not sure what more you could ask for in an opponent.

    It is my understanding even CFS is not full when it rains for a noon game against a team no one really cares about. Based on all the accounts I have heard every other home game UNC has played this season Kenan has been full and the crowd has been great.

    So you don’t go to UNC football games? I think attendance for UNC games this year has been strong except for the game against a top 25 opponent a week after UNC received its first top 25 ranking of the year. Maybe the reporter made a mistake with 1100 number. As far as your opinions on Carter Finley, you are incorrect. NC State is at very close to 100% capacity for every game no matter the weather. But the issue here isn’t how UNC’s football culture compares to NC state, it is how it compared to places like the University of Tennessee.

  2. jmnorris 11/12/2008 at 10:52 AM #

    I don’t mind that post you just made TarHeelFan but I really believe the first line is a little off. I’m pretty sure there are PLENTY of threads on here of us “worrying about our own team.” Simply scroll down and read the past threads for yourself. And isn’t that statement a bit hypocritical when you are over here worrying about our blog? Just sayin…

  3. PackMan97 11/12/2008 at 10:58 AM #

    Wasn’t it exactly this type of “fan performance” that led Mack Brown to “Oranger” pastures? UNC-CH had it’s last home game of the season with a possible Orange bowl berth on the line against hated rival (in basketball) Duke. The team is 9-1 with a chance to get to 10 wins and go to a major bowl, ranked 5th in the country.

    The only problem? There was a basketball game later that day against California. By the middle of the third quarter Keenan was half empty and everyone was already over at the Dean Dome. Mack Brown learned the priorities of the power blue that day and left for Texas shortly after that game.

  4. newt 11/12/2008 at 11:23 AM #

    “They are the best fans in this state by far. It’s not even close there.” – TOB regarding NC State fans, 11/10/2007.

    There, now I’m worrying about my own team.

  5. Scooter 11/12/2008 at 11:30 AM #

    Slow news week for State I guess. Anything about our game against Wake this weekend? For one, I would love to see us send those tie-dye wearing folks back to Winston Salem with a sad face.

    I have a WFU alumni acquaintance who has already stated that we shouldn’t have our Christmas party on the weekend of December 6 because “I and all of our WFU alumni friends will be in Jacksonville.” Wouldn’t it be nice to see the Atlantic represented by a team that excites the crowd with touchdowns rather than one that bores the crowd with field goals?

  6. Otis 11/12/2008 at 11:38 AM #

    Tar Heel Fan – no offense – but the huge readership that is StateFansNation demands a great many topics to discuss and consume. sure our focus is NC State – but you will find us talking on broader topics such as non-revenue sports, other ACC schools and college athletics as a whole. It is just a byproduct of a massive and well informed fan base. Of course we have our short comings, we are probably aware of them more than any “hater” is. But really, telling us what we should talk about is kinda crazy. I love how you “have heard” about the good attendance at your football games, is almost as good as going and seeing it for yourself.

  7. Daily Update 11/12/2008 at 11:51 AM #

    Scooter: I did a quick scan this morning and saw nothing on the upcoming game against Wake Forest. I did post links about our exhibition basketball game last night, news about signing day in basketball, and our win last night in the ACC soccer tournament.

    I didn’t have time to check the WSJ, but they do have an article about our game. Check the “NC State News” entry one before this one.

    Of course with the destruction of the local media, there is a lot less news these days to read. Some people are happy about it, but as someone who enjoys local media coverage I am quite bothered by it.

  8. SuperStuff 11/12/2008 at 12:05 PM #

    My favorite stories about increasing attendance during the Bunting era was offering free pizza and reduced priced tickets to the students just to get them to show up. Hilarious! Or the time a picture of the seating in their stadium was making the rounds online with tons of different colored shirts sprinkled throughout. Very next home game and they start handing out free light blue t-shirts to the incoming fans. That’s just hilarious that UNC-CH has to dress their fans appropriately for a home game.

  9. Tar Heel Fan 11/12/2008 at 12:16 PM #

    I was at the BC game and it was not “beautiful” The sun did not come out until the 2nd half and only then in spots before more rain moved in off and on. The fact it was raining all morning impacts whether people will make the decision to attend the game or simply watch it on TV though you can only truly experience Ron Cherry by seeing him in person I found out.

    As far as what I have heard, I have multiple friends who attend games on a regular basis. Knowing this is a card that folks love to play on UNC I always ask how the attendance was and I even have folks who comment on by blog who say the same thing about the attendance.

    Anyway, I think there is a move to change the culture at UNC where football is concerned. It would be a slow process and no I don’t think anyone expects basketball to ever be supplanted. The real key is hoping someone like Butch Davis would be willing to stay and build his program under the current arrangement. I will say this, one of the impediments to building football even when Mack Brown was there is I do not think Dean Smith supported football or if he did certainly not in the way Roy Williams supports it and other sports at UNC as well. Roy and his players talked football on media day and I think there is a concerted effort on the part of the basketball program to point in the direction of the football program and help it out as much as possible.

    And the reason for my response is some of us get tired of this same old song and dance about how football won’t make it at UNC probably as much as you guys are sick and tired of hearing about Herb Sendek every eight days. I guess we all have a battles to fight.

    One mea culpa: My take on the football attendance at CFS apparently was from accounts of attendance later in the South Florida game not at game time.

    Thanks for going easy on me.

  10. packalum44 11/12/2008 at 12:23 PM #

    In regards to Tar Heel Fan:

    I was at the NCSU/MD game and it poored all day long. The only fans left in the student section after halftime were wolfpackers. Face it, we have better fans!

  11. redfred2 11/12/2008 at 12:36 PM #

    Don’t get me wrong, I love to trash the powder blue at any opportunity, but I just don’t see enough disparity in ticket sales from what NCSU and WFU sold, to make it worth crowing about. Am I wrong, it looks like the difference is less than 10% of total sales? Maybe I’m reading something wrong?

  12. doatesjr 11/12/2008 at 12:43 PM #

    I was at the BC game and the weather was crappy for the whole first half. It rained off and on for about 2/3 of the game, so weather probably had an effect on attendance. I go to all the home games, and have for about 7 years now, and attendance and fan support during games has increased dramatically in the past 2-3 years. Let’s be honest here too, it’s hard to get behind a team that plays the way the Heels did during the Bunting years. And also being honest, it’s even harder to get that fan support when the basketball team does so well. The average UNC fan that’s got money to buy tickets is going to pay to see basketball, since that’s the better product. Hopefully this football season will change that.

    As beautiful as Kenan Stadium is, parking sucks, and this also greatly influences attendance. And if parking is difficult, so is tailgating. The fact that Kenan is in the middle of campus does not foster much of a gameday experience for the average fan. That’s just the way it will have to be. Having a large parking lot where people can all get together before a game would be great, but that ain’t going to happen in Chapel Hill.

    In some defense of THF, it does seem as if there are a lot of posts here at SFN about somewhat trivial UNC items. I understand keeping tabs on your rival (otherwise I wouldn’t be a constant reader at SFN), but I think things go a little overboard here. Is there nothing going on in NCSU athletics that a whole entry is devoted to UNC ticket sales to an away game? And saying that UNC fans would rather go see the #1 basketball team’s season opener versus a game in College Park (DC traffic anyone?) is not really earth shattering news.

    And speaking of the Maryland football game, I’m just glad that UNC is in a position for people to have to choose which they’d rather see, since both teams are relevant right now on a national level. I can bet State wishes they were in the same position right now.

  13. doatesjr 11/12/2008 at 12:48 PM #


    I’m not sure that State fans are any “better”, but are certainly more diligent. I’m a UNC alum and about as rabid a fan as you could imagine, and even I’m not sure I could continue to support an athletic program that has performed the way State has across the board.

  14. Tar Heel Fan 11/12/2008 at 12:51 PM #

    It is really not an arguable point based on history. NCSU has a better setup for football, especially from a tailgating perspective. I think that helps. Your fans are also very loyal and committed but also I think NCSU is at a bit of a crossroads as to which major sport holds the most sway. As an outsider it looks like both major sports receive broad support at NCSU which is a credit to your fans for showing up for both despite the idiocy of Lee Fowler.

  15. EverettBeez 11/12/2008 at 1:10 PM #

    “despite the idiocy of Lee Fowler.”
    Its refreshing to see such clarity of thinking from a carolina fan. 🙂

  16. Daily Update 11/12/2008 at 1:27 PM #

    doatesjr: I appreciate your thoughts. I am just going by reports from BC fans of the weather that day. I don’t know if this issue is trivial or not…for whatever reason it drew a couple of rare posts from UNC fans on this site.

    I wouldn’t argue that our fans are “better”. We are probably more passionate about football and we did have the 2nd highest average attendance in the history of our basketball program last year. Not bad for a team that didn’t even make the NIT. However, we are significantly outnumbered in terms of fans in this state and any of the surrounding states which is part of the reason I am so surprised that UNC fans in the DC area haven’t bought these tickets.

    As far as the weather the day of the BC game:

    Officially for the day in Chapel Hill:

    Low 55 degrees
    High 73 degrees
    .13 inches of precipitation that day


    You can watch the radar from that day as well. It was essentially clear from from noon moving forward(maybe a scattered brief shower).

    RDU that day had a high of 77 degrees and .03 inches of precipitation.

  17. doatesjr 11/12/2008 at 1:32 PM #

    Daily Update,

    It’s funny you should mention the radar from that day. My wife and I looked at the radar around 11 AM before walking to Kenan, and everything looked clear. My wife being more intelligent than I (which is why I married her) thought it best to carry her raincoat just in case. I on the other hand said “the rain is gone, no need for a raincoat”. When we sat down in our seats around 11:30 everything was fine, then by kickoff the drizzle had begun. It drizzled/rained off and on until at least the start of the third quarter. So the scattered showers much have been scattered over Kenan 🙂 Needless to say my wife was dry and I was not.

  18. Scooter 11/12/2008 at 1:39 PM #

    Daily Update — thanks for info, will keep checking. It certainly appears that since the Raleigh N&O became the Charlotte/Raleigh N&O that our coverage has dwindled. Not that our on-field product has been much to stick our chests out about, but a little more regional coverage would be nice.

    As far as the weather in Chapel Hill during the BC game…. remind me again why we care? I was in Chapel Hill that day and while the “tailgating” experience below subpar, why do we care?

    I’m in favor of the Tarheels being as terrible as possible on a consistent basis, but it would be nice to see us just once more in my lifetime beat UNC while they are having a good year and we are below our own standards. Nothing would make me happier for us to beat UNC and send them to Boise instead of Atlanta (the current prediction).

  19. howlie 11/12/2008 at 2:07 PM #

    Silwy widdle taww hells.

  20. EverettBeez 11/12/2008 at 2:15 PM #

    Scooter, that’d be so sweet to pop that particular bubble.
    Boise – nice.
    I’d love to see Auburn beat Bama, but I doubt I’ll get to.

  21. Daily Update 11/12/2008 at 2:20 PM #

    Scooter: The UNC fans brought up the weather, so I guess that is why we are talking about it. I don’t know why you should or shouldn’t care. If there are things that I don’t care about, then I typically don’t bother discussing those topics or posting on websites about those topics trying to convince other people that they shouldn’t care either.

    I am going to the UNC game next weekend and I personally will have an above par tailgating experience. In fact, one of next week’s entries will be suggestions for NC State fans to have a solid pre-game tailgate.

    It wasn’t just me who thought this issue was newsworthy. This information and article came from the Washington Times, so it isn’t like I researched this topic myself. Butch Davis was asked about the conflict in his press conference as well.

  22. Tar Heel Fan 11/12/2008 at 2:22 PM #

    I am not going argue with what WRAL or whoever had posted. I was at the game, I walked a mile through steady rain to get to the stadium then every time I took my jacket off it started raining again. The point is the decision for most to attend the game was probably made when it was raining and therefore it depressed the numbers.

    As for the radar, I was checking it on my Blackberry and what the radar said was over or not over Chapel Hill was different from the conditions in Kenan.

  23. old13 11/12/2008 at 3:03 PM #

    Now I’ve seen everything – an argument over PAST weather!!!

  24. Girlfriend in a Coma 11/12/2008 at 3:09 PM #

    This weather argument is hilarious. UNC fans are actually arguing that they, as a group, are fair-weather football fans. Literally. As opposed to non-existent I guess.

  25. EverettBeez 11/12/2008 at 3:20 PM #

    so it only takes shower to dampen an outbreak of carolina fever?
    I thought it took like 8 doses of antibiotics.

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