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Fans take advantage of public sale of ACC tickets

Posted March 12, 2009
Updated March 13, 2009

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— The UNC Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils were prepping to take to the hardwood Friday, and their fans were taking advantage of the first public sale of tickets to Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament since the 1960s.

fans at the acc tournament ACC fans hit tournament

Ticket sales have been sluggish, perhaps due to the recession, and some seats went empty during the opening round Thursday.

“We were able to get better tickets because, I think, not as many people are buying them,” said David Hutzenbuhler, who purchased tickets through the North Carolina State University Wolfpack Club. "In past years, we'd buy through brokers and had to pay a lot more."

Although seats in the upper level can sometimes require binoculars, the Slagle family said they didn’t mind the view. For them, attending the tournament was the upside to the down economy.

“I grew up in North Carolina and I’m a big Tar Heel fan,” Joel Slagle said. “You can’t get tickets to watch a normal, regular season game; they are just not available.”

"We have two boys, (ages) 15 and 17, and one is a big North Carolina fan, and the other loves Duke. They've already got the games slated off so they're set in stone," Kim Slagle said.

Ticket-sellers also have had to contend with the size of the Georgia Dome. With 36,000 seats, the NFL stadium is much larger than most ACC tournament venues.

"This is such a big place. I don't like it. It's so big," UNC fan Kelly Misenheimer said.

Some fans who bought their tickets early said they wished they had waited for a better bargain.

"I believe we paid a lot for our tickets that probably the folks here did not have to pay," ACC fan Lynn Rotanz said.

On Friday, top-seeded Carolina plays Virginia Tech at noon, and third-seeded Duke plays Boston College around 9:30 p.m. Second-seed Wake Forest faces off against Maryland at 7 p.m., and Florida State plays Georgia Tech at 3 p.m.


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  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Mar 13, 2009

    Its a shame we have to watch these games on the Raycom Rinky-Dink Tin-Can Network. Or is it the WRAL Rinky-Dink Network that's responsible. Can't these guys/gals align a satellite properly? The picture and sound keeps cutting in and out. I'm on DirecTV and ALL other channels are fine with a strong signal. Somebody better fix it quick. Or give ESPN Full Broadcast rights so us fans can watch the game with a decent signal.

    Thanks WRAL/Raycom. (sarcasm)

  • Drakula_I_G Mar 13, 2009

    The bad economy definitely has something to do with this (but not all - the location change has definitely hurt the majority of ACC fans.)

  • foetine Mar 13, 2009

    What's the point in taking two days off work, book high priced hotel rooms for three days, burn all that gas to watch a Wolfpack team that dived? The fact that there's so many tickets means that even if your team gets bumped in the first day, you're not going to be able to sell your unused tickets in the parking lot without giving a discount.

  • WhoReallyCares Mar 13, 2009

    It was Thursday, which probably contributed to the "empty seat" factor. I'm sure today will be much better since the 1-4 seeds are playing and we're heading into the weekend.

  • Mom of two Mar 13, 2009

    Yeah, I watched some of the Boston game and could not believe all the empty seats. I'm sure there will be a better turn out today. Go Heels!!!!

  • smitty Mar 13, 2009

    Easley's stupid stubhub law has ruined spectator sports, can't wait till it expires on June 30.

  • 4DukeTillDeath Mar 13, 2009

    The crowd was pathetic, even for home team Georgia Tech. Bring this tourney back to NC to stay.

  • Axilla Mar 13, 2009

    Well - at least the teams shouldn't feel any pressure playing in front of a crowd.

  • Sound Tech Mar 13, 2009

    I agree kevboom. It should have said some seats were filled at yesterdays games. I really don't think it has anything to do with the economy either. I think it has to do with location. What a bonehead move by the ACC Committee on this selection.

  • kevboom Mar 13, 2009

    "Some" seats were empty Thursday? Try ALL seats. Geez, I thought I was tuned into the SEC tournament when I first saw the Georgia Dome! Not a very good image for the conference. Let's hope the games today have at least a couple hundred fans.