GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina University Athletics Department is enjoying another record-breaking season ticket sales pace that has 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 nearing a close that will increase the stadium's capacity to 50,000 in time for the 2010 campaign, the Pirates will be in a position to push their turnstile count to unmatched levels under first-year head coach Ruffin McNeill.
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 a 22,000 sell-out number 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.
In addition to topping all Conference USA members in attendance average for the past two championship-winning campaigns, the Pirates also stood third nationally among all Bowl Championship Series non-automatic qualifiers in 2009 - trailing only BYU (64,236) and Utah (45,155).
With a little over two months to go until its opener against Tulsa Sept. 5, ECU is currently 800 ticket sales ahead of its 2009 rate according to year-to-date comparisons.
A limited number of chairback seats are available on the North Side for Purple Pirate ($1,200) members and above, while lower level Economy Plan and priority season tickets can still be purchased by Pirate Club members as well as upper deck seating by the general public. East Carolina's popular Young Graduate plan (2008-2010 grads) enrollees are eligible to buy season ticket packages beginning at $150 each.
Single home and away game tickets are now on sale for Pirate Club members only, while the general public individual game ticket sales date has been set for Aug. 9, based on availability.