GREENVILLE, N.C. - ECU and Charlotte, two in-state programs which have distinctly different origins but share a common conference membership foundation, have agreed to a two-year home-and-home football series in 2024 and 2025 according to a joint announcement by both institutions Thursday.
The Pirates and 49ers will initially meet at Charlotte's Jerry Richardson Stadium on Aug. 31, 2024 before following with a contest at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Aug. 30, 2025.
ECU, which began playing football in 1932, left the independent ranks in 1996 and enjoyed a 17-year membership in Conference USA before joining the American Athletic Conference in 2014. Charlotte fielded its first team in 2013 and was a two-year independent at the FCS level prior to its acceptance into C-USA as a football member in 2015.
The two schools have remained competitive rivals in other sports throughout history, including a 24-game men's basketball series which began in 1981 and continues this year with a meeting at Minges Coliseum on Dec. 18.
Approximately 10,000 ECU alums reside in Charlotte and its surrounding counties, a region which also houses a Pirate Club office and has been emphasized as a major recruiting area.
"We have gratitude and value for that part of the state for both our recruiting efforts and outstanding support," head coach Scottie Montgomery said. "Coach Lambert has done a terrific job building that program from scratch and I'm excited about developing another in-state rivalry.”
The Pirates have won three of five contests played in the city of Charlotte, beginning with a 50-29 victory over NC State in 1996. ECU has averaged 57,178 fans per game when playing at Bank of America Stadium, including a then-state college record crowd of 72,169 when the Pirates knocked off No. 17 Virginia Tech in 2008.
Charlotte will join Virginia Tech (Sept. 7), Appalachian State (Sept. 14) and BYU (Oct. 19) on ECU's 2024 non-conference schedule, while becoming the Pirates' third announced opponent for the 2025 season (ASU/Sept. 6, VT/Sept. 20). The Mountaineers and ECU will also meet in the Queen City on Sept. 4, 2021.
Game times, ticket information and broadcast plans will be released as those playing dates near.