Thursday, November 13, 2008

UNCC WILL get football

UNC Charlotte will field a football team. The school's board of trustees voted 8-0, with one abstention, today to adopt a Chancellor Phil Dubois plan that could add a football program at the school, according to the Charlotte Observer.

In September, Dubois recommended the school suit up a team by 2013, if boosters and football fans demonstrated support by raising $5 million in six months to help build a $45.3 million stadium complex.

"The cold stark financial reality we face is that those who say they want football are going to have to help pay for football," Dubois told trustees in Spetember. "We need to see support demonstrated now."

He suggested selling 5,000 personal seat licenses - or "Forty-Niner Seat Licenses" - for $1,000 each, just for the right to buy tickets, within six months of the BOT's vote.

That vote, of the 13-member BOT, came Thursday. There were nine members voting, and eight voted in favor with one abstention. There were no votes against. The other four members didn't vote. Three had previously expressed support for the initiative.

At the close of business on Wednesday, the Charlotte 49ers had received reservations for 4,167 of those FSLs. At a price of $1,000 each, that could translate into more than $4.1 million for the creation of a football program.

No money has yet been accepted by the ticket office, which was awaiting today's vote. ...

Interested fans and corporations can add their names to the reservation list by calling the 49ers ticket office at (704) 687-4949 or the 49ers Athletic Foundation at (704) 687-4950.

The biggest obstacle to football is a place to play. Dubois recommended building an expandable 12,000-seat stadium on campus, or playing at a renovated Memorial Stadium in uptown Charlotte.

School officials are talking to Mecklenburg County officials about Memorial Stadium. If the school invests significant money in renovating that facility, it would play there for several seasons, Dubois said.

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