CHAPEL HILL — They may be only 30 miles apart, but the football rivalry betweenN.C. StateandUNCis legendary. On Saturday, the game returns to the Triangle at Kenan Stadium after two years in Charlotte. Tar Heel fans and business owners are welcoming the game's return.
On Franklin Street, fans are showing their Tar Heel pride because the "big game" is back home.
"It's important to me for them to play on their home turf either way -- no matter if it's here or over there," says business owner Shelton Henderson. "I'm sure glad it's here this year."
For two years, fans had to head to Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte to enjoy the game. For business owners in Chapel Hill, the game meant a big revenue loss. This weekend, they are looking forward to a healthy cash register ring.
"From a restaurant manager standpoint, it's just phenomenal. The sales that we had last year during the N.C. State game, and this week, you can't compare," says restaurant manager Chris Ijames. "It's probably a 60-70 percent increase in business on Saturday."
Hotels also welcome the game's return. The Sheraton has been booked since January. This is one game many fans hope will stay in the Triangle.
"Losing it to Charlotte and not having it here, that's the one game I brought my family to," says hotel manager Anthony Carey. "Personally, I just love it, glad to see it back."
The last time N.C. State defeated UNC was in 1992. The game will start at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.