CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — UNC is replacing bleachers with seats in its football stadium ahead of the 2018 season, officials announced Monday.
The 22-inch-wide seats will make attending games at Kenan Stadium more comfortable, officials at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said.
As a result, the stadium’s capacity will go from about 63,000 people to about 51,000. In 2016, UNC’s average attendance was 50,250, according to the NCAA.
The change will also reduce the stadium’s capacity and lead to an extra $6 charge on tickets.
Officials said a pilot program during the 2017 season, in which the new seats were rolled out in sections 110 and 111, was an overwhelming success.
The work will begin in February and is expected to cost $6 to 6.5 million. The new $6 fee will pay for the seat work as well as “future improvements and refurbishments at Kenan Stadium.”
The change will affect all seating except for the student section.
“We want our fans to have the best game-day experience possible, and this is a fantastic next step,” says Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham. “We look forward to seeing those Carolina blue seats filled – and we’ll continue looking at every area of game day to see how we can improve even more.”
Carolina’s first home game is set for Sept. 15.
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