State selling tickets in Birmingham; Fowler fails to capitalize on a media opportunity

The News & Observer reports that

N.C. State’s ticket office has sold about 5,500 of its allotment of 10,000 seats for the Bowl, State assistant athletics director Brian Kelly said Thursday.

Remember that these are only tickets sold officially through the Wolfpack Club.

I usually suggest obtaining tickets from the WPC for bowl games; but, that is not the best course of action if you are looking to obtain the best seats for bowls that have miniscule levels of pre-sales. Usually you can get much better seats by ordering directly from the ‘official’ bowl ticket outlets.

The N&O’s story goes on to say,

Bowl sales and marketing manager Bo Kerr said most of the ticket orders taken directly by the bowl are received online, so it’s impossible to tell for sure how many patrons of that outlet are N.C. State fans. However, he said, there are a lot of orders from fans who have phone numbers with North Carolina area codes.

This is a good follow-up to Section Six’s entry on Tuesday based on an article from the Birmingham News linked here.

As of Friday afternoon, the bowl had directly sold 4,369 tickets since North Carolina State and Rutgers were announced Sunday as the participants. That is more than double the amount sold in the first week a year ago.


The majority of fans who have purchased from the Bowl directly since Sunday are N.C. State supporters.

“We think we’ll have more than 10,000 there,” N.C. State Athletics Director Lee Fowler said. “Whether it’s all from our allotment, we’ll see. We hope to sell all 10,000.”

A poster on PackPride’s message boards shared the following:

Went to the Wolfpack Club office yesterday to straighten some things out and was told that they have sold between 7 and 8K tickets to WPC members. We will have much more than 10K there after you factor in tickets sold through and ticketmaster.

Not only do I totally agree with the conclusion that we will have a lot more than 10,000 fans…I have felt that was pretty obvious from the start.

With that said, I’d like to sarcastically ‘thank’ Lee Fowler for using his opportunity with the media to under-estimate how many tickets for which NC State will be responsible. Given a fantastic opportunity to throw numbers into the public awareness and help position NC State as a program that travels fantastically well, Fowler goes with something akin to us hoping that we may have 10,000 fans there.


COME ON! GET AGGRESSIVE! MARKET and PROMOTE something other than yourself for once!

You know…even if it looked like we may only have 10,000 fans there, NOBODY in their right mind would UNDER-ESTIMATE the attendance number in public. Who wouldn’t take advantage of the chance to ’round up’ in this situation? Hell, Lee Fowler exaggerates everything else…why would he UNDER-PROMOTE NC State when given the chance?

(Folks, that’s rhetorical.)

Fowler never fails to capitalize on a media opportunity to promote himself; but please don’t ask him to use the media to actually positively promote NC State.

The numbers are obviously evolving to where we will definitely have more than 10,000 fans in Birmingham. Let’s guesstimate that we end up with 12,500 to 15,000…in Birmingham!?!? This would be AMAZING. Hell…that would be around the same number of fans that Coach O’Brien’s former school – Boston College – has taken to their last three bowls and two visits to the ACC Championship game COMBINED!

If State could collectively take anything near 10,000 people to Birmingham then the administration REALLY needs to take note and make sure that we don’t under-promote this kind of accomplishment.

Recent updates indicate that the bowl is announcing that over 38.5 thousand tickets have already been sold to this year’s game. For the record, East Carolina played in the inaugural Bowl two years ago in front of an inflated 32,500 fans.

Lastly, we are talking some interesting stuff about Vegas/NC State/Russell Wilson in this entry. The comments section have some interesting finds including some links from JimValvano that include the following conclusion:

Put it this way: If the odds on a new season were issued right now, this would be the projected Orange Bowl game instead of Virginia Tech-Cincinnati.

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

'08 Football Fans General

49 Responses to State selling tickets in Birmingham; Fowler fails to capitalize on a media opportunity

  1. old13 12/19/2008 at 10:08 AM #

    Gee, what a surprise (on both counts!!)

    It amazes me (or, at least, it used to – I’ve gotten used to it now) who (by position) at NCSU keeps holding back Wolfpack athletics! (For a real downer, go over to and scroll down the standings for each individual sport!)

    It looks like the true Wolfpack supporters are once again stepping up in world-class fashion in spite of the incompetence and lack of leadership and support being demonstrated by the school general and athletics administrations with regard to Wolfpack athletics! We Wolfpack fans MUST be masochists!

  2. gopack968 12/19/2008 at 10:23 AM #

    Uhhh… since LF’s actual words were, “We think we’ll have more than 10,000 there,” didn’t he cover the possibility that we will go over 10k? So far we don’t actually have over 10k that we can prove, so what was the harm in him just saying we think we will? Perhaps he missed a chance to be really bold, but equating “we think” to underestimating is a stretch.

    What would be worse – for the AD to say “we think over 10k,” or “We will sell… 11k, 12k, whatever…,” and then not meet that number? Now that would be bad. His comment seems appropriately conservative and optimistic at the same time.

    Now, if he had said we think “we’ll have over 10 thousand cougars at the game…”

  3. wufpup76 12/19/2008 at 10:25 AM #

    ^Yet our fanbase continually gets trashed.

    “For the record, East Carolina played in the inaugural Bowl two years ago in front of an inflated 32,500 fans.”

    ^EXTREMELY Inflated. It hardly looked like 1,000 people were there at times … Hopefully it won’t look like that when we’re on tv down there (I don’t think it will)

  4. SouthernWolf 12/19/2008 at 10:26 AM #

    I know I got our tickets through Papa Johns Bowl because they had better seats than what was offered by the wolfpack club

  5. LRM 12/19/2008 at 10:43 AM #

    State fans are still waiting in the WPC Will Call line for their 2005 Meineke Bowl tickets.

    Seriously, when it comes to bowl games, the WPC is simply a middle man. It’s like paying $10 extra for booking a flight on expedia instead of going directly to the airline’s website.

    In the end, bowl officials will know which fans were at that game, regardless of whether or not the WPC gets credit. And in this economy, 15,000 State fans traveling to Birmingham the weekend after Christmas to watch a 6-6 team is pretty durned impressive.

  6. Daily Update 12/19/2008 at 10:56 AM #

    N&O said today that the WPC has sold 5500. The bowl sold about 4400 as of last Friday. So if NC State fans bought 2/3 of the 4400 tickets, then that puts us at about 8400 sold not including any additional tickets bought from directly from the bowl in the last 7 days. That is if the 5500 number is accurate. If it is really 7k-78, then we are well over 10,000 already.

  7. packbackr04 12/19/2008 at 10:57 AM #

    any word on how many Carolina fans are going to be in Charlotte? i would think they should sell that game out in no time. considering that is essentialy a day trip.

  8. wufpup76 12/19/2008 at 11:13 AM #

    ^The Charlotte game is sold out

  9. CarnifeX 12/19/2008 at 11:32 AM #

    Whats the capacity at Legion field?

  10. old13 12/19/2008 at 11:46 AM #
  11. dubpack 12/19/2008 at 11:48 AM #

    Plus the media still overlooks the fact the game is at 3:00 pm on the first workday after Christmas

  12. packbackr04 12/19/2008 at 12:26 PM #

    i am sure carolina fans will point out that they sold out their Bowl game this year, while failing to point out the mitigating factors that led to their sell out. Plus, its not like WVU doesnt travel either.

  13. WolftownVA81 12/19/2008 at 12:39 PM #

    Fowler should have said “Our fans are the greatest in the world and we will have over 10,000 fans in the seats.” He didn’t even have to say that the tickets would be sold through the WPC. Great leaders make bold statements then follow up to make sure it happens. This is just another example of a typical bureaucrate playing it safe so he won’t look bad if it doesn’t happen. Nothing ventured, nothing gained – which is where we seem to be stuck as an atheletic program. Agree totally with this entry.

  14. LKNpackfan 12/19/2008 at 12:39 PM #

    Its undeniable that we’re surpassing attendance expectations. State fans at Legion are easily going to be the super-majority. Its kind of unfortunate that Rutgers also wears red, a contrasting visual would be quite a statement.

  15. LRM 12/19/2008 at 12:57 PM #

    The Meineke Bowl is sold out, and will likely be an attendance record. The simple fact is Carolina travels as well as we do, so we need to be careful making this comparison (check out the Peach Bowl attendances in ’93 and ’01 and the Gator in ’97). This year they sold an estimated 40,000 tickets (wholly believable).

    Regardless of the convenience of where our game is or when it’s played, we can’t laud our status as a fan base that travels en masse if we only sell 10,000 tickets, especially with the size of our alumni base. This year there are obvious underlying economic factors, sure, but so much of it is cultural, too. Think Nebraska has trouble selling their allottment to any bowl they play in? But how many Nebraska fans travel to St. Louis or Kansas City to see the Big XII basketball tournament?

    Other than the Gator or the ’95 Peach, I’m curious what our attendance figures were for the 2005 Meineke (it was half-empty) and all those Tangerine bowls we played in, because I’d be really surprised if those figures weren’t inflated, because those were some empty stadiums.

    I’d say it wouldn’t be a stretch that 15-20,000 State fans will be in Birmingham, which is quite impressive.

    As for Fowler, he’s apparently recruited Frank Wren for a combined effort to mire my life in misery, which only intensifies my dislike for him.

  16. happypackdad 12/19/2008 at 12:59 PM #

    NCSU is known for traveling well. Nothing to see here.

  17. PackMan97 12/19/2008 at 1:11 PM #

    The Meineke and Peach both have great locations for the conferences they have selected. You couldn’t ask for it to be any better. They’ve also had a great selection of teams recently.

    Excluding Duke/Wake, any other team from the Carolinas/Virgina is gonna sell out the Mieneke because it’s so danged close. Heck, even Wake and UConn pulled 53k last year and BC/Navy pulled 52k the year before! It’s just a great location.

    The Peach is the exact same way. I really wish we had gotten the DC Bowl. Oh well.

  18. packbackr04 12/19/2008 at 1:15 PM #


  19. Clarksa 12/19/2008 at 1:21 PM #

    I think Lee is scheduled to take the UNC-CH Crowd Estimation seminar next spring.

  20. LRM 12/19/2008 at 1:22 PM #

    FYI, the championship game is in Charlotte in ’10 and ’11.

  21. LRM 12/19/2008 at 1:25 PM #

    My grampa used to have a saying that is entirely fitting for Fowler: you could put him in an empty, padded cell with two ball bearings and he’d break one and lose the other.

  22. thekind 12/19/2008 at 1:34 PM #

    LF is the worst AD in the country!

  23. TOBtime 12/19/2008 at 1:41 PM #

    The Meineke Bowl was NOT half empty in 2005. It just looked that way at first because so many people were waiting in line OUTSIDE through the 1st qtr to get their tickets!

  24. lanepmiller 12/19/2008 at 1:45 PM #

    I know this site does not focus on student very often but I am curious how many students purchased tickets. They were very cheap and easy to get. I am pretty sure you can still get them. Also does anyone know where the students will be sitting? I have a ticket but it says GA for the section. Does anyone know where the state students will be sitting?

  25. choppack1 12/19/2008 at 1:55 PM #

    UNC has done well at the Meineke again – but it also helps that they have played 2 teams of some national reknown – one of who is very well known for traveling in WV.

    Still, I see what LRM is saying…if we want to be perceived as a strong traveling school, we need to sell out of allotment. This year, it won’t really be known who is doing their part and who isn’t.

    This will be the first bowl game I’ve missed since our appearance in the All American bowl vs. Southern Miss. By far, our most impressive moment as a fanbase was the Gator Bowl vs. Notre Dame on January 1, 2003. That was absolutely amazing and a testament to the potential that exists for NC State football. We did travel well to the Peach Bowls as well.

    Having been to Orlando (twice) and Charlotte – I’d say that in those cases, we certainly brought more than our opponent(Pitt, Kansas and USF).

    I imagine that this year we would have sold out Charlotte – especially w/ WVa as the opponent and a Saturday game. Regardless, it is really fair to compare the attendance for a team that had a 3-5 regular season record against an unknown opponent (at the time) to how someone w/ better records and more established opponents attends their game. Still, if we want the reputation as the best football fans in the state we have to pull the Gator Bowl kind of attendance every time not just when we have a good opponent AND a good location.

Leave a Reply