Ticket Sales Steady for 2006

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Football excitement is back at North Carolina following noticeable on the field improvement, key staff hires and retainment, and subsequent recruiting classes of national notoriety. And though season ticket sales are going at about the same pace as last season, UNC officials expect individual sales to increase with an extended home slate in 2006.

"I think we're probably going to end up somewhere between 29,000 and 30,000 [season] tickets sold," said Director of Ticket Operations Clint Gwaltney, a former Tar Heels' kicker and the school's seventh all-time leading scorer. "I think there is a lot of excitement. Our sales are still on about as steady of a pace as they were last year."

Season ticket books are available for $205 this season, which includes seven home games – one more than last year's schedule.

But Gwaltney expects the increasing fan expectations for success to become more representative when individual game tickets go on sale July 29 beginning at 10 a.m.

For ACC games, tickets will cost $40 apiece, $35 each for the three home non-conference games.

"I think we'll see a real spike in individual game sales," Gwaltney said. "Things are headed to a real positive season and everybody seems to be real excited about it."

Out of conference games against some of the country's best programs became a trademark of scheduling during John Bunting's five previous seasons. But this year, opponents the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, Louisville, Utah and Arizona State have been replaced by Rutgers (Sept. 2), Furman (Sept. 16) and South Florida (Oct. 14).

The Tar Heels are 4-3 all-time against the above-mentioned foes. UNC is winless in two tries against the Scarlet Knights – the last time a 19-0 loss in 1919. Rutgers has never played a football game in Chapel Hill.

UNC is 4-1 against the Division I-AA Furman Paladins, including a 28-3 loss in 1999.

The Tar Heels and the USF Bulls have never met on the gridiron.

In conference, Carolina might get a break by not having to play Florida State, Maryland or Boston College.

However, a still challenging home ACC slate consists of games against Virginia Tech (Sept. 9), Wake Forest (Oct. 28), Georgia Tech (Nov. 11) and N.C. State (Nov. 18).

Last year in Blacksburg, the Hokies led just 6-3 at the half, before pulling away in the third quarter en route to a 30-3 victory which ended UNC's flickering bowl hopes.

In the '05 season opener in Atlanta, the Yellow Jackets withstood a furious Carolina comeback to win, 27-21.

Ånd UNC will be after its third win in a row against its top rival in the season home finale against the Wolfpack, following a 31-24 triumph in Raleigh last season.

The Deacons and Heels renew pleasantries after taking a year off in the series.

Tickets can be purchased either by logging on to TarHeelBlue.com or by calling the UNC ticket office at (919) 962-2296.

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