ECU fans come together for the first game of the season celebrating National Tailgate Day

For the first year in a while, there is normalcy without COVID precautions
Published: Sep. 3, 2022 at 8:00 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - College football has officially started in the East and East Carolina University students, families, and alums celebrated the opening game as the Pirates took on the NC State Wolfpack.

It was a fun day for college football fans as the game was completely sold out.

Many fans say they were ecstatic that this year is the first year, in what feels like forever, to actually have some normalcy without any COVID precautions.

Over 50,000 people were ready to have a great time while cheering on their favorite team.

Greenville resident Kimberly Pickett compares this year to the previous years.

“Oh, there’s so many more people here. it’s much more relaxed,” said Pickett. “I don’t think there’s that fear here anymore.”

Fans of all ages came together for fun tailgating lawn games, dance breaks to get ready for the game, and gameday food.

For one ECU student, senior Sarah Jones, supporting her pirates and eating Chick-fil-A while tailgating is what she looks forward to the most.

“We are so excited to head over to the stadium, ready to play NC State, ready to win,” said Jones. “We have lots of energy, lots of games, lots of drinks, so we’re excited! My favorite food is definitely the chicken minis we had at tailgate.”

For many fans like ECU Alum Katherine Goff, this first game of the season was like a reunion.

“We’re back here with a bunch of fraternity brothers and sorority sisters from our college days and we’re just so happy to be back together and enjoying our pirates,” said Goff.

Even in a close loss, these Pirate fans still bleed purple and gold and look forward to cheering in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium once again as they host Old Dominion University on their home turf next Saturday.

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