UNC sophomore Margaret Smith attended the watch party for the first time last year.
She said that while she would have preferred to be at the game itself, the watch party was a cool experience.
“Having it be sort of a large watch party is different from going to somebody’s house and watching it because you don’t know everybody who’s there and it’s less set-up for people to talk and everything,” Smith said.
Smith said she felt that it was different to experience the rivalry game as a UNC student because of the general atmosphere and excitement.
“Watching it on a really big screen was cool because it made you feel like you were even more there than if you were watching it on a TV or something,” she said.
UNC sophomore Morgan Wolfkill went to the watch party for both of last season’s games against Duke. She also plans to go to the watch party tonight.
Wolfkill said she was uncertain about buying tickets her first time and ultimately didn’t because the watch party sold out. She said she was luckily able to buy a ticket from someone who could no longer go.
“The second time around, right when they started selling them, I went ahead and bought them immediately because the first time was such a good experience that I knew that’s where I wanted to be again,” she said.
Wolfkill said the atmosphere of the theatre is different during the game than for movies.
“Being able to watch the game on such a big screen with so many people who are just excited as you are was just a lot of fun,” she said.
UNC won during her second watch party, which allowed her to experience the hectic rush to Franklin Street up close.
“It was awesome,” she said. “When we ran out on the street, you could kind of see people from all directions running towards you. We were basically already in the middle of the intersection where everything happens, so we’re just standing there going crazy with all of these people and all of a sudden there’s a rush of more people from every direction coming towards you. It was definitely something I’d do again.”