RALEIGH — While the prospect of college football this fall remains a very uncertain proposition, schools are still asking for season-ticket renewal deposits as scheduled over the next few weeks, some as soon as today, Thursday.
To retain their seats and parking spots, N.C. State fans have to meet the Friday deadline for ticket deposits and Wolfpack Club dues, although the school has adjusted its refund policy and is offering payment plans amid the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Several schools have pushed back deadlines. North Carolina’s renewal deadline, originally set for April 17, has been extended to May 15. Duke’s, also initially set for April 17, was extended last month to May 11. Wake Forest this month moved its deadline from today to June 5. East Carolina’s has been moved to mid-June, the official date to be announced this week.
“Our ticket office is being very flexible and working with individuals who want to renew, including payment plans that can spread their ticket payments out so they don’t have to pay all at once,” a UNC athletics department spokesman wrote in an email.
The Charlotte 49ers’ deadline for renewal was extended from April 3 to May 8. That is the same deadline for annual contributions for 2020 football season-related benefits, although that also may be extended.
Appalachian State’s deadline is today and will not be pushed back.
“As is our standard practice, account holders have the option to use payment plans for their ticket purchases,” an athletics department spokesman wrote in an email. “We are working with each account on any specific needs they have from a financial standpoint due to the current environment.”
At State, fans who have purchased lifetime rights to specific seats could lose those seats this season if they miss the renewal deadline, but they can retain them for the future by making their full Wolfpack Club donation by November.
Lifetime seating rights for football (as well as men’s and women’s basketball and baseball) are obtained by making significant donations to the Wolfpack Club, as are coveted assigned parking spots in the lots around Carter-Finley Stadium.
The same is true at other schools, where donations to booster groups like the Rams Club (UNC), Iron Dukes (Duke) or Pirate Club (ECU) secure not only the right to buy the same seats every season but other perks as well.
“Our staff have been working to adjust timelines and offer flexibility to supporters as the COVID-19 continues to evolve,” Ryan Reynolds, ECU’s executive associate athletics director for external operations, wrote in an email.
It is difficult to imagine the college football season proceeding as normal without students on campus for the fall semester, the likelihood of which remains impossible to gauge at this point in the pandemic. A letter to the East Carolina community Monday from interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson said “we intend to be back on ECU’s campus in the fall,” but UNC system interim President Bill Roper has asked all 17 campuses to be prepared to continue online learning beyond summer school into the next semester.
If all or part of the football season is not played, State and Wake Forest have new refund policies that would allow ticket holders to receive a refund contingent on the number of games. East Carolina athletics director Jon Gilbert pledged in a letter to fans Tuesday full refunds if the season is not played.