More than half of the new premium suites at Kenan Stadium have been sold in the last two weeks, promising initial figures that put the stadium on track to begin construction in mid-2010.
UNC Director of Athletics Dick Baddour said that public sales, which began Oct. 3, have exceeded expectations.
“All of our surveys, all of our contacts with donors and the level of interest in football show us this is a great time to do this,” he said.
Rams Club members have options to buy four different levels of seats in the new Blue Zone — premium suites, the Upper Club seats, Loge seats or the Concourse Club seats. Sales in these sections will fund more than half of the project but account for less than half its cost.
Neither Baddour nor Rams Club Director John Montgomery would provide the number of seats sold or the amount raised through private giving.
Donations and gifts are expected to make up the remainder of the costs for the project, which will not receive any state money.
Montgomery said the premium suites and Loge seats are selling quickly. Concourse seats, the cheapest available, have been harder to sell, he said.
The University will not begin the renovations, which also include a Carolina Student-Athlete Center for Excellence, until it raises 85 percent of the $70 million to $85 million renovation, Baddour said.
Because no specific schedule has been set for the stadium’s expansion, Baddour said plans are flexible.
“If we aren’t successful selling the seats, we’ll wait until the times are better,” he said. “Indications are that we’re going to be fine.”
Purchasing a new seat in the Blue Zone has an estimated annual obligation ranging from $8,600 for four Concourse Club seats to $58,900 for a premium suite, which will seat 16. These prices include the value of the lease, the actual ticket cost and the Rams Club membership requirements.
Despite the high prices and recent economic woes, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Matt Kupec said fans are excited.
“Certainly the psyche and the confidence of the donors has been jolted,” Kupec said.
“I think we’ve got some work cut out for us, but we’re encouraged by the response to the initiatives.”
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