NC State has yet to determine whether it will have fans in the stands for its home football games this this season. Even if it does, the capacity of Carter-Finley Stadium will be severely limited because of COVID-19 related social distancing restrictions.
In anticipation of either eventuality, athletic director Boo Corrigan sent a letter to all his school's season ticket holders on Tuesday. In it, he delivered the disappointing news that season tickets have been suspended 2020.
If fans are allowed to attend, tickets will be sold on a single game basis -- a format that will provide "flexibility to adjust capacity depending on state guidelines," and allow the athletic department to "safetly maximize the number of fans that can" attend.
Corrigan also spelled out a number of options regarding season ticket balances -- including credits toward 2021 tickets and refunds.
Here is the text of the letter in its entirety:
As we move closer to the start of football season, we know that you have many questions on your mind, including whether fans will be permitted in Carter-Finley Stadium. We appreciate your patience and understanding over the last several months and as we continue to move forward. The reality is that, although we still don’t have all the answers to your questions, we want to at least provide some clarity and direction in the midst of all the unknown. We have spent countless hours evaluating this process and have been as deliberate as possible to ensure we have the best information before moving forward with any decisions or announcements.
Although a final decision has not been made in regards to fan attendance, we know there will be a significantly reduced capacity for at least some of our games at Carter-Finley Stadium this Fall. As proud as we are of our more than 30,000 dedicated, loyal and passionate season ticket holders, it is now unrealistic for us to expect that we would be able to accommodate a crowd of that size for every game this fall. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to suspend season tickets for the 2020 football season. We understand the disappointment this brings, and we very much share in that disappointment. Like you, we are eager for the day when we can all come together again as a community and enjoy the atmosphere of game day tailgates and Wolfpack Football with friends and family.
This decision is difficult on a number of levels. First and foremost, the experience and support you provide is second to none and our football student-athletes are going to miss playing in front of Wolfpack Nation in a packed Carter-Finley stadium. Second, this decision has a significant financial implication on all of NC State Athletics. As I have previously shared, NC State Athletics is primarily funded through football ticket sales, television revenues and donations. By suspending football season tickets and with the possibility that no fans may be permitted this fall, the direct financial impact could be up to $21 million.
The health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and fans is our unconditional priority. As we navigate a return to competition, we are absorbing significant new costs with regular COVID-19 testing (approximate projection of $2 million) to help ensure the safety of all our student-athletes, coaches and staff. In anticipation of these potential challenges, we began taking proactive and on-going measures to substantially cut our operational budget.
Our goal is to maintain the best possible student-athlete experience and also protect all that NC State Athletics means to you and your family. We know and realize the magnitude of these difficult times, but we are asking all of our loyal season ticket holders to consider reinvesting their 2020 football season ticket balance into the Preserve the Pack Athletics Fund. Contributions to the Preserve the Pack Campaign will provide unrestricted funding for NC State Athletics to help cover the funding gap created by COVID-19. In addition to making an incredible impact on NC State Athletics and our outstanding student-athletes, season ticket holders that reinvest in Preserve the Pack by donating their season ticket balance will receive:
- Advance presale access for 2020 football single game tickets (circumstances permitting)
- Ability to lock in your 2020 parking location for the 2021 football season
- Unable to lock-in annual seat locations in order to protect Lifetime Rights Holders that chose to opt-out this season due to COVID-19
- Bonus (4x value) Wolfpack Club priority points for reinvesting all or a portion of your 2020 football season ticket balance to Preserve the Pack
- Lock in 2020 football season ticket prices for the 2021 football season
- Invitation to a special VIP experience in 2021 (circumstances permitting)
- Additional plans and initiatives will be announced in the coming days and weeks for those who donate to Preserve the Pack
Tomorrow, you will receive an email from our ticket office that provides the following options for your season ticket balance. Please consider reinvesting whatever amount you are comfortable with. Every season ticket holder and every dollar makes a major impact on helping us maintain our student-athlete experience:
- Reinvest your entire season ticket and parking balance to Preserve the Pack
- Reinvest a portion of your season ticket and parking balance to the Preserve the Pack
- Credit your 2020 season ticket and parking balance to your 2021 football season tickets
- Refund your 2020 season ticket and parking balance
- In lieu of the normal season ticket model, we will be implementing a single-game ticket model for the 2020 football season that provides us with the ultimate flexibility to adjust fan capacity up or down from game to game, based on current state guidelines, allowing us to safely maximize the number of fans that can experience Wolfpack Football. If fans are permitted in Carter-Finley Stadium this fall, season ticket holders that reinvest in Preserve the Pack will receive access to an advanced presale for single game tickets. Additional details on the single game ticket process will be provided in the coming weeks. On-site parking for home games will be limited to those that have tickets to attend that particular game.
“For the Strength of the Pack is the Wolf and the Strength of the Wolf is the Pack!” Never has the spirit of those words been more relevant or necessary. We hope each of you will consider donating all or part of your season ticket balance to help us Preserve the Pack!
Director of Athletics
NC State Athletics