North Carolina’s and South Carolina’s athletic departments each will receive an appearance fee in excess of $3 million to play Thursday night’s football game at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.
That fee was confirmed by Will Webb, executive director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation, during a Tuesday interview with the Observer. The Gamecocks and Tar Heels will open their season at 6 p.m. (ESPN)
The Charlotte Sports Foundation put together this matchup. Webb said the schools and the foundation explored a variety of ways to compensate the schools for giving up a home game to play at a neutral site. Revenue to pay the schools for their appearance will be generated from ticket sales and television rights, which were sold to ESPN.
About 50,000 tickets have been sold at the Carolina Panthers’ 73,238-seat stadium. Ticket prices range from $65 in the upper deck to as much as $240 for lower-level club seats.
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Most lower-bowl seats have been sold, but many of the upper-bowl seats – ranging from $65 to $83 – remain available.
The game, originally scheduled for Saturday, was moved to Thursday night at ESPN’s request. Webb said Monday he thought the Thursday night slot could be a factor in ticket sales.
“This is a learning curve for us,” he said. “There are challenges to having a game on Thursday – people coming from work and have to go to work the next day. But ESPN asked if we’d move it and we said let’s do it.”
Thursday will be the 31st college football game played at Bank of America Stadium. Webb said Monday the Charlotte Sports Foundation is in discussions with South Carolina and North Carolina to bring at least two more games in the series to Charlotte.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell