Preparations are underway for ECU’s first home football game

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Preparations are well underway at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for East Carolina University’s first home football game of the season.

“I’m excited first home game. It’s gonna be hot though,” said sophomore, Trista Hammersmith.

With temperatures expected to be in the upper 80s at kickoff, ECU athletics officials have added more places for fans to buy concessions this year.

“We have increased our point of sales and point of service. It’s a little over 300, and that’s up from 120 last year,” said J.J. Mclamb, Executive Associate Athletics Director

After issues with long lines at last year’s first home game, organizers have gone fully cashless in hopes of keeping the lines moving this year.

“The speed of service will be there. The speed of the checkout process will be there and hopefully will get our fans through the line quicker,” Mclamb.

With the normal tailgating spots opened, East 14th St will be closed three hours before kickoff, stretching from Elm Street to Charles Blvd. With the chance of rain Saturday plans have been made to accommodate.

“There will be officers that will be directing them inside the seating area of the stadium. Once they get out the gates to get to the areas that they parked, if it gets to a situation because of where they are parked or tailgating we’re just not reasonable for them to get back to that area, then there are shelter in place locations,” said ECU Police Captain Chris Sutton.

But even with potential rain fans like freshman Jamari Cobb will still be there cheering the Pirates on.

“ I feel like we’re gonna do good, and I feel like my team is ready and we prepared. I know we took the L last week, but we’re coming back stronger than ever. We’re gonna pack out the stadium, and we’re gonna win,” said Cobb.

According to Captain Sutton, they are expected to see 30,000 to 40,000 fans at the game so their message is to come early and to stay safe, but always have fun and remember to paint it purple.

Captain Sutton also says to expect delays and standstill traffic around the athletic complex, so his advice is to avoid the area if you’re not attending the game.