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N.C. State's Refurbished Carter-Finley Stadium Ready For Debut

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RALEIGH — The renovations at North Carolina State's Carter-Finley Stadium are

still a work in progress

, but N.C. State fans do not seem to mind. When the Wolfpack kicks off its season, they will play in front 48,000 fans -- the biggest crowd the stadium has ever held.

The rumbling of construction equipment will be replaced by the roar of the crowd Thursday night. A $2 million scoreboard now blasts sound and broadcasts replays. The newly-renovated stadium is bigger, with 5,800 new seats, and louder than ever before.

"I think with the old grass bank, the sound kind of got out of here. Now, with the concrete, I think it's going to be louder, which is good for the fans, good for our kids, and give us a better home field advantage," Athletic Director Lee Fowler said.

Brian Ivey and his friends will be among the screaming fans in the stands. They came to Carter-Finley to check out their seats, and to check up on the renovations.

"I think the improvements, the first phase is great, it looks great. I think people will be surprised tomorrow when they see it on television, see the great work N.C. State has done over the last 18 months," Ivey said.

Football fever is definitely in the air. For the first time, N.C. State has sold out its entire season.

"We sold 31,500 in season tickets. That's actually about 10,000 more than two years ago, when we had 5,000 less seats," Fowler said.

A fence will keep fans at a safe distance while a football center and new press boxes are being built. School officials say the changes mark the beginning of a new era in Wolfpack football.

There are actually 160 new parking spots at Carter-Finley now, and more restrooms. By the way, they are striving for potty parity -- there are twice as many new women's restrooms as men's.


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