Local News

Frigid temps put freeze on N.C. State camp-out

Posted January 16, 2009 7:05 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Frigid temperatures prompted an early end to an planned all-night camp-out by North Carolina State University students hoping to get tickets to a basketball game against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Students set up tents Friday night at Lee Field on N.C. State’s campus, wrapped up in blankets and set out heat lamps in the center of the field.

But overnight, temperatures dropped into the low teens, and Student Government officials decided it was too cold for students to be out, campus police said.

At 3 a.m., the students camping out were sent home. Campus police said the cold did not cause any medical issues.

Earlier Friday, the cold forecast prompted Duke University officials to cancel a similar camp-out event for student tickets to the Blue Devils' game against UNC on Feb. 11.

When they gathered for the camp-out, N.C. State students said the reward of tickets to the Jan. 31 game against the Tar Heels was more than worth a few hours in the cold.

"It’s worth it to see them whip up on UNC from good seats. That’s what we’re hoping for," NCSU senior Shelly Tkach said.

“When we beat Carolina, everything is worth it,” NCSU freshman Emily Lupton said.

Students were allowed to take breaks from the cold. They could get hot chocolate and soup in a nearby dining hall, and a pancake breakfast was planned for the morning. The event was also to feature movies, a dance contest and raffles.

Organizers had planned to distribute 80 percent of the 2,800 tickets normally allotted to students at the camp-out. The remaining tickets were slotted to be distributed online and at the Ram Roast event by the Student Wolfpack Club.

Last year, a record 3,200 people registered the camp-out, hoping to get one of 2,800 tickets available to students, according to the NCSU Student Government Web site. The event’s growth prompted a change of venue from the front of Reynolds Coliseum.

To handle the large crowds and ensure fairness, officials check campers for student identification four times throughout the night. Students had to be present at least two checkpoints to be eligible for tickets.