GREENVILLE, N.C. - For the third time in the last five years, East Carolina's football season ticket sales will officially be classified as a record-breaker.
A total of 22,338 tickets have been sold as of 5 p.m. Friday, which eclipses the previous standard of 22,000 established in 2007. The ECU Athletics Department has now surpassed the 20,000 mark for the fourth consecutive year, setting the stage for possible new attendance standards at an expanded Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium this fall.
With a 7,000-seat endzone construction project that will increase the stadium's capacity to 50,000 in time for the Sept. 5 opener against Tulsa, the Pirates will be in a position to push their turnstile count to unmatched levels under first-year head coach Ruffin McNeill.
In addition, Student Pirate Club membership has soared past its previous high of 7,800 with a current enrollment of 7,831. With a season ticket included as a benefit of membership, ECU's overall number of sold seats reaches past 30,000 for the first time in program history.
East Carolina has established program attendance standards its last three seasons. The Pirates drew a total of 249,219 fans in 2007 before setting back-to-back regular season average records with league-best 42,016 and 43,191 clips in 2008 and 2009, respectively. The increases have been a reflection of season ticket success at the box office in the last four years, following a then-record of 16,258 in 2006 with the aforementioned 22,000 clip in 2007, a 21,160 total in 2008 and a 21,293 figure last fall.
East Carolina enjoyed sell-out crowds for all six regular season contests a year ago, standing 14th among all FBS programs with a 100.44 capacity percentage. The Pirates also topped all Conference USA members in attendance average for the past two championship-winning campaigns and stood third nationally among all Bowl Championship Series non-automatic qualifiers in 2009 - trailing only BYU (64,236) and Utah (45,155).
Individual game and season ticket packages remain on sale, including a limited number of upper deck $120 Summer Savings promotional tickets through Sunday, Aug. 15.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.ECUPirates.com or by calling the ECU Athletics Ticket Office at (252) 737-4500.