Pirates’ AD announces details on fans returning to games, ticket information for football games

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — East Carolina University Athletic Director Jon Gilbert announced details on fans returning to indoor and outdoor sporting events along with ticket information for the fall football season.

Gilbert met with members of the media on Friday where he said fans could start returning to games in a limited capacity on March 4. Outdoor events will have a 30% seating capacity while indoor events will be at 15%, in accordance with Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order.

Fans will be able to return to baseball games at a limited capacity, with around 1,200 allowed at the games. That number includes around 150 fans in the Williams Jungle.

Below is more information on basketball, baseball season tickets and other details Gilbert released in a memo on the ECUPirates.com website.

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Football Season Tickets on Sale Monday
We are prepared to put 2021 football season tickets on sale Monday at 9 a.m.
 
Following a season with limited fans in attendance, we are optimistic Pirate Nation returns in record numbers in 2021. It’s hard to find a better atmosphere when Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium has thousands of fans wearing purple and gold, affecting every opponent that comes into Greenville. Make no mistake, you give us a clear homefield advantage. Let’s make up for what we missed last year and get your tickets early.
 
In 2020, we got off to a promising start with football season tickets before the pandemic halted all sales. If you look at the history of football season tickets at ECU, we sold a record number tickets 10 years ago with 22,830 in 2011. While the number has dropped considerably, we are encouraged by the interest of Pirate Nation to move the needle this season.
 
Let’s work together to increase our season ticket base and the process begins on Monday. If you purchase tickets before March 15, you will be eligible for a six-month payment plan.
 
I’m pleased with our home schedule with games against South Carolina (Sept. 11), Charleston Southern (Sept. 25), Tulane (Oct. 2), USF (Oct. 28 or Oct. 30), Temple (Nov. 4 or Nov. 6) and Cincinnati (Nov. 26 or Nov. 27). 
 
The dates for the USF and Temple games will be assigned by the AAC in the coming weeks. One of the games will be on a Thursday night on ESPN and the other will be on Saturday. ESPN will announce the date of our Cincinnati game on Oct. 4.
 
Your renewal for 2021 football season tickets will be available in your account on Monday at 9 a.m. The priority deadline to renew is May 3.
 
Season ticket holders will receive renewal applications in the coming days. Please keep in mind your renewal form could look differently from years past based off what you did in 2020. We have individuals that rolled over their 2020 ticket purchase to 2021 and individuals that received partial credit based on what games they were selected to attend last season.
 
The 2021 season ticket packages include six home games and prices will remain the same as a year ago. The pricing structure includes:
•             $300 – Pirate Club Chairback
•             $240 – Pirate Club Lower Sideline
•             $150 – Upper Sideline
•             $99 – Fan Zone
•             Discount for young graduates (2017-21) on season tickets ($100) and parking ($60).
 
While you are planning your season ticket purchase, please consider joining the Pirate Club if you are not a member. This is a critical year for the Pirate Club as we continue to work our way through the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate the financial impact while continuing to serve our student-athletes.
 
In addition to getting more options on season tickets, making an investment in the Pirate Club is a great way to support our student-athletes. You can visit ecupirateclub.com for more information or call (252) 737-4540.
 
Executive Order Impact
We are thankful for the executive order issued on Wednesday that will allow additional fans into our athletic venues this spring. Our staff has spent significant time discussing different scenarios for our venues and ticketed sports with hopes an increase in capacity could be forthcoming. While we were pleased to receive the news, we continue to work on a detailed plan based on the information released this week.
 
First and foremost, our top priority is to ensure we provide an atmosphere that is safe for all parties. We are fortunate for the partnership with university, local and state health officials who have assisted us throughout the pandemic. If we can do it safely, we should have a memorable spring in our athletic venues. Face coverings will always be required, and we will have social distancing in seats. Tailgating will be prohibited on all University property until further notice. 
 
Currently, we are allowing families of competing student-athletes and coaches into our venues via a pass list. Beginning March 5, we will increase capacity restrictions for Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, Lewis Field at Clark-LeClair Stadium, Johnson Stadium and Max R. Joyner Family Stadium.
 
It’s important to note that while capacity has increased to 30 percent in our outdoor venues and 15 percent indoor, we will still have limited tickets available due to social distancing guidelines. Based on the size of our soccer/lacrosse and softball facilities, we hope to allocate approximately 150-200 tickets to the students/public. For volleyball inside Minges Coliseum, we will have approximately 1,000 tickets available for students/public. Further information will be released next week on how tickets will be distributed.
 
Baseball Season Tickets
Our ticketing and Pirate Club staff are currently working to allocate seats for baseball which will begin with the Appalachian State series on Friday, March 5. Baseball is our only sport in the spring that we will charge for attendance.
 
Based on feedback from university and local officials, we expect to have approximately 1,200 in attendance, including 150 in the “Williams Jungle.” A portion of the tickets will be designated for ECU students, visiting team and families of ECU student-athletes and coaches. As in football, we won’t be able to accommodate all season ticket holders from 2020.
 
Baseball season tickets will be assigned based off priority and selected individuals can purchase only the same amount of tickets as they did in 2020. We will have a limit of four tickets to allow more of our supporters to attend games. We have no plans for single-game ticket sales.
 
Due to social distancing guidelines, you might not be in your exact seats, but our goal is to move you as close as possible to your original seat selection. In addition, only individuals with a ticket for the “Williams Jungle” will be allowed in the area due to capacity restrictions. This is similar to the process when we host NCAA Regionals.
 
Last year’s season ticket holders should receive an email as early as Sunday concerning the next steps. In the event the guidelines changes, we will adjust accordingly.
 
Welcome Back Men’s Basketball … and ECU Students
Our men’s basketball program is expected to return to action on Thursday, March 4 in Minges Coliseum against conference foe UCF. The game will tip off at 9 p.m. and be nationally-televised on ESPNU.
 
Due to COVID-19, this will be the first game since Feb. 8 for our men’s team. It has been a difficult pause for our student-athletes, and I know they are eager to return to the court. We are looking forward to making it a special atmosphere for Thursday’s game.
 
With only two games remaining at Minges Coliseum in 2021, our focus will be on allocating tickets to our students and donors based off priority.
 
Our goal for Thursday evening is to welcome back our men’s basketball team and our ECU students who have been so patient and understanding throughout this process. We will have capacity for approximately 600 students to attend the game and will have seats grouped in two-person pods separated by a minimum distance of six feet. Information on how tickets will be claimed will be announced on Tuesday, March 2, but we are hopeful to have a safe and enjoyable crowd.
 
Thank you for your patience throughout this pandemic. I know this hasn’t been an easy year for our supporters. But I am encouraged by the latest news concerning COVID-19 and hope to return to some sort of normalcy in the fall. Please stay with us and support our student-athletes as better days are ahead for Pirate Nation.

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