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An incoming student's guide to getting tickets to sports events at UNC

UNC fans cheer on the football team at the homecoming game against Duke on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 at Kenan Memorial Stadium. UNC defeated Duke 20-17 for the first time in three years.

While watching sports on TV is great, most fans will tell you the experience is wildly improved by attending games in person — especially in Chapel Hill. Securing your ticket to a game is paramount for the overall sports experience at UNC, and here's how to do so.


There's a lot of hype surrounding the football team this year after last season's run to the Orange Bowl, and students will want to be in Kenan Memorial Stadium to see it.

Student football tickets are available through a lottery process for most home games throughout the season. The lottery opens 10 days prior to each game, and students have 48 hours to enter.

The timing of lottery entries does not affect the odds of getting a ticket — everyone who enters at any time during the 48-hour period has an equal chance to win.

Students find out whether they've won via email five days before the game, and winners receive their tickets in another email three days later. Students who don't receive tickets in the lottery can join the standby line on game day. All student tickets become void after kickoff, and those unused tickets go to students in the standby line.

All student ticket holders can enter the stadium 90 minutes before kickoff.

Men's basketball

Now begins the Hubert Davis era. As students step into the Dean E. Smith Center to watch the Tar Heels play, they can feel the historic prominence of the basketball program.

Similar to football, a student-ticket lottery system is in effect for home basketball games throughout the season, except for exhibitions and some nonconference games, which are open to students on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Winners receive their tickets via email five days before the game, and tickets are divided into three phases. 

Students with phase 1 tickets can enter the Smith Center 1.5 hours before tip-off, phase 2 an hour before and phase 3 half an hour before.

Like football, unused tickets become void at game time, and there is a standby line for students who didn't receive tickets in the lottery.

Carolina Fever

Carolina Fever is a rewards program in which students earn points for every "Fever" event they attend. Students don't need to sign up for the program — they just have to swipe their OneCards at games.

The top 200 students in point standings receive one ticket for every home football game. The top 150 receive phase 1 tickets for every home men's basketball game — one for the game against Duke and two for every other game.

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

Other sports

Other UNC athletic events are free for students and simply require a OneCard to enter.


@dthsports |