The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday October 17th

Explaining UNC's student athletic ticket system

<p>UNC's student section cheers on their team. UNC and No.1 Clemson faced off on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 in Kenan Memorial Stadium. UNC fell short of ending Clemson's 19 game winning streak, 21-20.</p>
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UNC's student section cheers on their team. UNC and No.1 Clemson faced off on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 in Kenan Memorial Stadium. UNC fell short of ending Clemson's 19 game winning streak, 21-20.

You've heard all about UNC's legendary student section at men's basketball games. You've heard about the football team's renewed success following Mack Brown's return. But if you want to experience men’s basketball games, football games and other athletic events in person, make sure you follow this guide to secure a seat.

Men’s Basketball

The North Carolina men’s basketball team has long held a spot at the pinnacle of college basketball across the country. A chance to enter the iconic Dean E. Smith Center to watch the Tar Heels play is near the top of any UNC student's bucket list.

A student-ticket lottery system is in effect for most of the home basketball games throughout the season, except for exhibitions and some out-of-conference games against mid-major opponents. 

Sign-up for the lottery opens 10 days prior at 10 a.m. and close two days later with a 11:59 p.m. deadline.

The time you sign up does not affect your odds to get a ticket. Everyone has an equal chance to win.

If you win, the tickets are sent via email five days before the game, and you will get either a phase one, phase two or phase three ticket. 

The phase of the ticket determines when you can enter the Smith Center. Phase one is allowed in 1.5 hours before tip-off, phase two an hour before tip and phase three 30 minutes. 

All student tickets become void at game time.

Students who don't receive tickets through the lottery can wait in the stand-by line on the day of the game. Unused lottery tickets free up spots for students in the stand-by line at game time, and seating is based on availability and is first come, first serve.


Football tickets are available through a similar lottery process. 

Ticket lotteries for home football games open to students 10 days prior to the game, with registration opening at 9 a.m. and ending 48 hours later. 

Winners of the tickets will be notified by email (sometimes it hides in your spam folder), so be sure to check it five days before the game. The tickets are sent in a separate email 48 hours before game time. 

There are no phase tickets for football, and all students are allowed entrance to Kenan Memorial Stadium 90 minutes before kickoff.

Once the game kicks off, any unused student ticket becomes void, which gives students in the stand-by line a chance to get in. Again, this is based on availability in the stadium.

Carolina Fever

Carolina Fever is a points-based student rewards program in which students earn rewards at the end of each year for every event they attend. 

There is no sign-up for Carolina Fever, and getting the points is as easy as swiping in and out of games with your OneCard.

The top 150 students in point standings receive two phase one tickets for every home men's basketball game, except for the Duke men's basketball game, where they will receive one. For the top 200, the reward is one ticket for every home football game. 

If a student does not get within those marks, there are still prizes for them based on the amount of points they receive and final standings. 

Students can check the Carolina Fever website to see which events will get points for the season.

Other North Carolina Athletics

Other UNC athletic events are free for all UNC students and require a OneCard to enter any home game.

Students just need to get to the event before game time and find seating within the venue.  


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