GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – It’s a huge weekend in Pirate Nation as East Carolina gets ready to take on in-state rivals N.C. State.
The game kicks off at noon Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
The last time the two teams met, the Pirates beat the Wolfpack in Raleigh. Fans are hoping it’s a similar scene Saturday in Greenville. Yet the big game could cause big headaches across town.
It’s a sell-out crowd of 50,000 for the biggest game of the season, only in week 2.
Pirate tailgates are always bigger when the team takes on a rival like N.C. State. It’s expected to be hot for the noon kickoff and tailgating which starts at 8 a.m. ECU Police have a heat management plan in place with cooling stations set up inside the stadium.
Lieutenant Chris Sutton advises everyone to start hydrating now and be careful with alcohol.
“If people start out drinking really early and for breakfast, the first thing they reach for is a can or a bottle, then that’s only going to speed up the process of dehydration in their body,” Lt. Sutton said.
50,000 are heading to the game and about 10 to 15,000 more are expected to linger in tailgate lots outside, so be prepared to see lots of people around town all weekend.
With the early kickoff and close proximity of the visiting team, ECU Police say traffic will be a huge issue all across town all weekend. More Wolfpack fans means more tension in the tailgate lots.
WNCT asked Lt. Sutton if the rivalry means there’s more conflict off the field.
“I think you see more incidents because of the volume of people that you have in here. I don’t think that the color of the jerseys matter as much as just the volume of people that you have,” Lt. Sutton said.
Remember to download the live-safe app. It gives users instant connection with ECU Police in case there are any issues.