Local News

State - Carolina Game in Charlotte Upsets Local Fans, Business Owners

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CHARLOTTE — Charlotte's Ericcson Stadium played host today to the largest crowd ever to watch a college football game in North Carolina.

UNC beat N.C. State 37-34 in overtime, but local fans had to settle for watching the game from a bar stool instead of a stadium seat.

The rivalry's road trip to Charlotte is especially disappointing to Carolina fans, who would have hosted the game at home.

"It's just not fair to the students here at Carolina or at State. Home field advantage is everything to the team itself," said Bart Tyler.

BW-3, a popular Franklin Street hangout is packed with fans during most Carolina games. Moving the game to Charlotte took a bite out of its business.

"When they take a game of big rivalry out of Chapel Hill and move it, you're gonna feel it as far as business goes," said BW-3 owner Jim Couch. "It's ridiculous, you can look around and there's nobody in here.

State fans say they wanted to watch the game, but they didn't want to drive to Charlotte.

"Being away in Charlotte, I'd like to see it, but it's kind of a hassle to go all the way down there," said Brandon Adams.

Carolina and State will each earn one million dollars for playing at Ericcson Stadium. Fans say it's a big payoff for the schools, but a bad deal for them.

Local football fans will have to wait until 2000 for the Carolina-State game to return to the Triangle. It's scheduled for a Thursday night at Ericcson Stadium in Charlotte next year.