Ticket Sales Down

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – First-year head coach Larry Fedora's energetic approach to football hasn't quite been enough to translate into increased tickets sales at North Carolina.

UNC has sold just over 31,000 season tickets, according to director of ticket operations Tim Sabo, who added sales were "down in the 1,200-1,300 range."

The school sold roughly 32,500 season tickets in 2011 after selling 34,400 ticket packages prior to the 2010 season.

"We've also done some mini-season [packages] for the first time this year," Sabo said. "We're at about 1,000 of those. We've got plenty of availability left for everything and we're just working to get them sold."

Despite an "overwhelmingly positive response" for Fedora's arrival, Sabo pointed to other factors in explaining the decrease in ticket sales.

Media scrutiny emerging from the University's internal investigation into its Department of African and Afro-American Studies released in May has played a role, but Sabo doesn't believe the school's academic issues have been the primary reason for the drop.

"I don't know that that's the biggest thing," Sabo said. "It's certainly a factor – we hear that from our fans – but I think the economy still really holds people back. That's the No. 1 thing we hear from folks."

Another factor could be the school's new equity seating plan, although Sabo said the response for that change has been good. The seat reassignment policy allows Rams Club members to select their seats in Kenan Stadium based on membership rank.

The 2011 season served as a test run for this year and the seat selections made in the spring are locked in until 2015.

"Most of the feedback I've gotten has been that those folks really enjoy being able to be specific," Sabo said. "The website we use is really good. You can look seat-by-seat. It's interesting to see what people are picking. It's not quite as balanced as what we had been doing. A lot more people pick the South side. You get a lot of really good feedback when you talk to those folks."

Ticket sales were expected to receive a boost this season with East Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia Tech on the home schedule, but that hasn't been the case to date.

All seven homes games still have tickets available to the public. There are three tiers of prices -- $35 (Elon, Idaho), $50 (Georgia Tech, Maryland) and $60 (East Carolina, Virginia Tech, N.C. State).

Season ticket packages are currently priced at $315 for all home games, which equals the 2011 package price.

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