Skip Bayless, Stephen A. Smith and Cari Champion will broadcast the show live from the Great Hall of the Student Union today from 10 a.m. to noon.
The hosts will visit the other side of the rivalry on Wednesday, when “First Take” films at Duke before the scheduled 9 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
UNC students can begin lining up for entry at 7:30 a.m. in the West Lounge of the Union. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m., with seating for about 450. Students must show their UNC One Card to gain free admittance.
Therese Andrews, production coordinator for ESPN, said the network approached UNC with the idea in January. She said ESPN will cover all of the costs related to the event, which she said is a great opportunity to involve students leading up to the game.
“‘First Take’ travels on the road regularly,” Andrews said. “Doing the show in front of live fans is really important to us. College students have a great energy. The rivalry is a great reason for us (to come).”
Karen Moon, a University spokeswoman, said she thinks the show will be a fun event for UNC students leading up to the game.
“In addition, a few of our broadcast students are interning and getting the hands-on experience of working and watching a live remote two-hour broadcast,” she said.
In light of current Tuesday class cancellations, Megan Johnson, the Union’s associate director for communications and creative services, said the event will take place regardless of the weather forecast.
Andrews said there is no backup plan for inclement weather. She said more than 400 people waited in line for hours to gain admission to the show on Friday in New York City despite negative wind chills.
Johnson said the Union has been the intended venue of the event from the beginning and is treating it like any other rental event.
She said there have been some delays with the arrivals of the ESPN personnel.
“Being in the heart of the campus is important to us,” Andrews said. “It met our needs technically, and the size of the room is flexible for the size crowd we were hoping for.”
Moon said the Office of Communications and Public Affairs worked closely with their counterparts at Duke in preparation for the shows.
Sophomore Luke Fernandez said he will be more likely to attend the show because of class cancellations, which also mean less work.
But senior Nick Brenner said the weather has made it less likely that he will attend.
“I’m worried that there might be a long line, and I’d be stuck waiting in the cold,” Brenner said.
“But I’ll be more inclined to go if my friends go.”