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The Daily Tar Heel

Duke game line procedure established for Thursday’s game

Despite spending hours waiting for a game that never happened last week, hundreds of student fans will be rewarded for their dedication on Thursday.

After promising students who were in the riser line and regular Phase 1 line that they would be kept in the same order after last week’s Duke game was canceled due to the snow and ice, the athletic department notified students Tuesday of how exactly that will work.

Carolina Athletic Association President Allison Hill said the randomization process went smoothly and that CAA has maintained the order for those who spent hours waiting in line, including more than 300 in the riser line.

Students who waited in the randomized riser line and those who were in the randomized regular Phase 1 line must be at the Smith Center’s Entrance C no later than 5 p.m. in order to keep their spots. Phase 2 ticket holders who had their spots in line recorded last week must arrive by 6 p.m. to Koury Natatorium.

Several students said they were pleased with the efforts made to honor their spots in line.

“I think they handled it very well. Duke canceled on us. UNC didn’t cancel the game, and given the cards they were dealt, they came up with a very reasonable solution,” said freshman Matthew McDermott, who waited for six hours in the riser line and is near number 250 in line.

Both the UNC Ticket Office and the athletic department’s business office do not expect the rescheduling to cause too many problems.

Assistant Athletic Director for Ticket Operations Tim Sabo said the Duke game should not be any different from regular season games.

“We are trying to communicate with students as well as possible,” Sabo said. “In terms of regular fans, all the tickets that were out there are still valid, so it hasn’t been too bad.”

Martina Ballen, senior associate athletic director, said she does not anticipate a large financial fallout from the postponement.

“In terms of lost revenue, I’m not expecting it to be significant,” she said. “There is an additional cost because of staffing. The Smith Center was pretty much set up already for that game. The ticket office is extending their hours, too, so it’s really going to be more personnel-related than anything else.”

The game’s postponement came as a disappointment for those who hoped to fill the Smith Center with student fans who would not otherwise have been able to obtain tickets to a game that has been historically well-attended.

Many students and alumni advocated for a way to fill the stadium with student fans on Thursday night as well.

Students started a petition via titled “Fill the Dean Dome full of student(s) against Duke on February 20, 2014,” that has since garnered more than 1,600 supporters.

Trip Park, a fan who paid to see the game, took to the internet to voice his anger after Duke announced they could not make it, and he advocated giving tickets away to student fans. But Park has decided to keep his ticket and will come to cheer the Tar Heels on.

“Watching these guys play Pitt made me see how much we’ve come together, and I simply have to come back for the rescheduled game. I will be loud and cheering them on,” he said.

While students in the standby line will be given any unclaimed tickets like any other game, Sabo said he does not anticipate many extras.

“For a game like this, the Duke game, there aren’t going to be many no-shows.”

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