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N.C. State Fans Brave Cold for Piece of History

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RALEIGH — Firewood, generators and extension cords were the lifelines keeping a tent city next to Reynolds Coliseum alive over the weekend.

That building is the whole reason students braved the cold the past few days and nights -- they want to get great seats inside.

"Long johns and flannel pants and jeans -- if you dress warm, you're all right," says Jill Diemert, a student atNorth Carolina State University. "There's fires everywhere. People let you come up to their fire and they don't mind."

Diemert, along with dozens of basketball fans took part in a massive campout to get great seats for the last two N.C. State games ever to be played in Reynolds Coliseum.

As far as the eye could see, students huddled around barrel fires.

"It's just like being at home," says Jon Stroud, who has got all the creature comforts of home, even his dog Maggie and a television set.

A few tents away from Stroud's, Chad Kauffman wasn't too worried about the cold either.

"We're number one -- first in line -- front row tickets," says Kauffman.

Monday morning, Kauffman and his friends were first in line for tickets to a piece of N.C. State history.

"I mean camping out is fun, basketball's great, but Reynolds is legendary, and we're sad to see it go," says Diemert.

Both games in which the students are camping outside for are against Tulane on Feb. 21 and Florida State on Feb. 24.

Monday morning, the campers lined up, based on the order they arrived at Reynolds Coliseum, to get their tickets.

N.C. State will officially retire Reynolds Coliseum for men's basketball Feb. 24. when the Wolfpack host the Seminoles of Florida State. Next season, games will be played in Raleigh's new Sports and Entertainment Arena.

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Todd Hauer, Reporter
Lynn French, Photographer
Kelly Gardner, Web Editor

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