"Coach Amato and the Wolfpack, we are delighted to be able to extend to you an invitation to play in this year's Meineke Car Care Bowl on New Year's Eve at 11 AM in Charlotte as the ACC representative," Webb said.
With a loud roar from the team in the background, NC State fifth-year head coach Chuck Amato happily accepted.
"As you can well tell, we appreciate the invitation, and we accept it," Amato said. "How rewarding and fun it will be to be playing in a bowl in our home state. It's so accessible to the Wolfpack Nation and Wolfpack fans.
"Will, we feel that we've had two seasons. We had the first six games and then the last five games. Now you add to that this wonderful bowl here. What a wonderful way for us to cap the season.
"There are probably a lot of reasons for why you decided to pick us. I told our players that of all the reasons that the Meineke Car Care Bowl invited us, it was for the play in the second half in the season. But, just as important is the reputation our Wolfpack fans have in traveling and supporting our team in bowls over the years. It's going to be a lot of fun."
"Coach you hit the nail on the head," Webb responded. "At the end of the season we followed you closely, and we were so excited to see you beat Maryland.
"Your fans are some of the best in the country. We've had two sellouts in three years, so there's a great challenge to Wolfpack fans across the state and the country. We are excited to have you coming."
"To be in our home state and represent the Atlantic Coast Conference, in my opinion the best football conference in the country, is just a priviledge to us," Amato said. "Thank you for the invitation."
After his teleconference with Amato the 2005 NC State Wolfpack, Mr. Webb fielded questions from the local media.
What are the prices of the tickets?
$30 upper level, $55 lower level, and $75 for club seats.
What is the ticket allotment for both schools?
Initial allotment is 12,500 per school. NC State has already requested some above that. The first year Virginia did well, the second year Virginia sold about 30,000, last year Carolina through their own ticket office sold over 30,400. I know the Wolfpack is hoping to beat that.
Why NC State? Is it their proximity to Charlotte?
That's a big reason. We are a young bowl. Our local base is growing. We are about at 8,000 tickets before we announced, but we still need a team that's got a great fan base. Frankly for State, it was the way they finished the season... winning four out of five.
This bowl was formed with the thought that we would have a team from the Carolinas or from Virginia just about every year. It works well for us."
When did you make the final decision?
We had some discussions with the conference office, and it was reached in the last couple of hours. We had some discussions with Lee Fowler just very shortly ago before we made the invitation.
Can you talk briefly about other things around the bowl that the teams will be doing?
The highlight of what we do is take them up to Lowes Motor Speedway where they all get to put on a fire suit, a crash helmet, and ride in a race car at about 165-170 miles an hour. The coaches do it, the ADs do it... That's our big event. That's on the 29th. For the first time that will be opened this year to fans to come and watch.
Did the upset with Florida State cause you any problems with getting the matchup you wanted?
We really were not sure what it was going to do, but we thought by the time that we were in a position to pick that we would have State available to us and we were very excited to have that happen.
The ACC has some very good football teams. We were very happy to not only get one that finished the season strong but has a great fan following.
What is the bowl payout?
We're unique. Last year we paid just shy of 1.3 million per team. We have a guaranteed minimum and then a revenue split since we are so young and new at this.
Do you feel you're living the charmed life getting Carolina last year and State this year?
It really couldn't, but that was the plan for this bowl when we got started. We know we've been very lucky with a lot of things, but we keep working hard.
You talked about North Carolina's success, and selling out, what are your expectations for State fans?
Judging by the excitement, the amount of emails and fan base at the last game, I came up to the Maryland game, I think they we really anticipate a sellout again this year.
Do you know what the guaranteed minimum is?
What is the capacity for the stadium?
It's about 73,400.