Official: South Carolina, UNC to open 2015 in Charlotte
The Charlotte Sports Foundation confirmed Thursday that South Carolina and North Carolina will open the 2015 season in Charlotte.
The matchup -- scheduled for Sept. 5 in the home of the Carolina Panthers -- was previously reported by the Charlotte Observer and made official in a press conference with the athletic directors from both schools.
South Carolina will be the home team, a decision made by way of a coin toss. The hope, according to the event organizers, is that both teams will meet again in Charlotte by 2019 with North Carolina as the home team.
"We are extremely excited to bring these national football powers and regional rivals together in Charlotte for college football," said Will Webb, executive director of the foundation. "Both North Carolina and South Carolina have a strong alumni presence in the region. This will be a tremendous game featuring a marquee matchup of ACC and SEC teams. We look forward to hosting the Tar Heel and Gamecock teams and fans in Charlotte."
According to the Charlotte Observer's Jonathan Jones, each school will receive 12,500 tickets for the game. The Charlotte Sports Foundation will control the rest of the allotment.
South Carolina will host North Carolina on Aug. 29, the first day of the 2013 regular season, in a nationally televised contest at Williams-Brice Stadium. The two teams have only played 11 times since the Gamecocks left the ACC in 1971, with South Carolina gaining a 6-5 advantage in those games with their 21-15 victory in 2007. The season opener in Columbia this fall is the back end of that home-and-home agreement.
Bank of America Stadium, though located in North Carolina, is a logistical midpoint for the two schools. In fact, Columbia is a shorter drive from Charlotte than Chapel Hill. If the two schools are looking to renew the rivalry on a more frequent basis, Charlotte's stadium could serve as an appropriate meeting place for the two fan bases.
South Carolina recently played East Carolina in Charlotte for the front end of a two-year agreement. However, the Pirates made the trip to Williams-Brice for their second meeting in 2012.
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