Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Going to the Chapel

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Going to the Chapel

Article excerpt

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- If you wandered by the Smith Center this

week, you could be forgiven for pinching yourself.

Students were camped out at the hallowed Dean Dome waiting for

football tickets.

At a school where basketball success is a birthright and it

takes a Final Four to generate a ticket-seeking shantytown,

students gobbled up 600 student guest tickets in a heartbeat for

tonight's showdown between North Carolina and Florida State.

"It says a lot for Carolina football," Lumberton, N.C.,

freshman Ben Hammonds said. "This has been a basketball school

for so long, but this year the football team is a national

power. I hope it's like this for all the football games,

because that will mean we're winning."

This is the first game in recent memory to inspire students to

camp out to buy guest tickets. They formed a line of tents and

sleeping bags -- Tuesday -- that stretched down the hill from

the basketball arena to the business school parking lot next

door.

The congregation looked like base camp for a Himalayan

expedition -- and with temperatures dipping into the low 30s

overnight, that's probably how it felt too.

"We'll probably try to sleep a couple hours," said Dusty

Cummins, 22, an Orlando senior who was second in line with

friend Jenny Goggin, 19, a Charlotte sophomore. "We've been

drinking a lot of coffee to stay warm. We're pretty wired now."

They also were among the first to grab one of the 200 pizzas

football Coach Mack Brown had delivered to the cheers of

students gathered on the sidewalk.

Students aren't alone in their enthusiasm for the game -- but

they may be the last ones getting a crack at tickets, at least

those going at face value.

The 58,000 regular tickets to the game sold out quickly in

June.

Ticketless fans and alumni desperate to see the game will have

to pay big. If any can be found now, they are going on the

secondary market for $175 to $350 each, one broker said. In town

Wednesday, students and residents said they heard some bleacher

seats were going for $200 each, prime seats for $600 apiece. …

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