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Aggie-Eagle Classic Flies Into Raleigh

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RALEIGH — On a sports weekend that includes the NFL kick-off, the home run race, and the U.S. Open Tennis championships, Raleigh is all about college football.

One big football game down and several more to go this weekend. Clean-up crews were sprucing up Carter-Finley Stadium Friday following N.C. State's home opening win Thursday night.

"It's not going to look as good aestheticly as we would like for it to," assistant groundskeeper Clark Cox said. "I think we are going to be okay as far as having a good playing surface where the athletes will get good footing."

They are trying to get ready for Saturday's big contest - the Aggie-Eagle Classic. The annual event features traditional rivals North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T.

Fans from all over the country are filling up Triangle hotels during what is traditionally a slow holiday weekend.

"I'm an Aggie born. I'm an Aggie bred, and when I die I'll be Aggie dead," N.C. A&T alumna Velma Speight said.

Howard Kennedy traveled all the way from Atlanta to see his Aggie's play. Since the event moved to Raleigh four years ago, it has become a major attraction.

"It's a great game," Kennedy said. "I've got to follow my school, that's why we're here. I'd never miss it."

The game drew 40,000 fans to Carter-Finley Stadium last year, and organizers anticipate 50,000 this year.

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitor's Bureau thinks this event could bring $2 million to the Triangle.


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