In Jan. 2023, over 6,300 fans watched as the UNC women’s basketball team defeated N.C. State, 56-47, at the first Carmichael Arena sellout in eight years.
At the end of last season, the Tar Heels stood sixth in the ACC and reached a top five ranking in average attendance per game.
Carmichael Arena was consistently a packed house, occasionally only offering standing room and even turning students away. Students queued in lines spanning from Carmichael to Student Stores, waiting for the student entrance to open.
The fans' continued engagement has created an undeniable home court advantage for the Tar Heels. The Tar Heels went 13-2 at home in 2023, and over 1,300 season ticket passes have already been purchased so far for the 2024 season — significantly surpassing the 844 sold last year.
“It’s now become kind of a thing to do among the student body, while women’s basketball definitely wasn’t that in the past,” Matt Krause, the North Carolina women’s basketball play-by-play broadcaster, said.
UNC’s nail-biting 66-65 victory over Louisville at home in 2022 caught fans' attention. Following the Tar Heels' notable wins against Notre Dame, N.C. State, and Duke the following season, there seemed to be an increased momentum and draw for the women’s basketball team.
This movement toward the sport is beyond meaningful to the athletes.
“Being able to sell out games that aren't even like rival games or big games just says that, you know, we've done our part in bringing people in and making people feel welcome and having them enjoy the games,” senior forward Anya Poole said.