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Posted at 5:04 PM ET, 12/ 7/2010

East Carolina coach hopes for sea of purple at Military Bowl

By Eric Prisbell

Ruffin McNeill, East Carolina's head coach, said Tuesday that he hopes RFK Stadium is awash in purple when the Pirates (6-6) play Maryland in the Military Bowl on Dec 29.

East Carolina fans have already sold out their team hotel and bowl officials expect ECU fans to buy the school’s entire allotment of 10,000 tickets.

Bowl officials anticipate a crowd of 30,000 at the 45,423-seat stadium. That total includes more than 5,000 tickets given to the military and some 2,500 tickets for District youth.

Maryland officials have been concerned about whether the school will sell its allotment of 10,000 tickets because a portion of the fan base may feel that playing close to home is a letdown after a resurgent season.

Friedgen is hopeful for a large turnout by Maryland fans because he said they traveled well to East Coast bowl games this decade. He said they helped to sell out the Orange Bowl (2001 season) and the Gator Bowl (2003) and filled the school’s ticket allotment for the Chick-fil-A Bowl (2002) and Champs Sports Bowl (2006).

He said this season regular season attendance “was not what it has been.” Attendance issues helped cause Maryland to plummet to the eighth slot in the ACC bowl pecking order.

“We have a chance to send a message to these people who turned us down that we do support a bowl,” Friedgen said. “This is right in our back yard. East Carolina is going to show up. If we really care about our football program, our fans need to show up also.”

By Eric Prisbell  | December 7, 2010; 5:04 PM ET
 
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Comments

ECU's coach is right.. There will be plenty of purple in RFK for their 'bowl game'..It will be 50/50, if Maryland is lucky..I would imagine the upper deck will be fuller than the lower.. Can't see spending $90 for this game... GO TERPS!!! See ya at RFK !!!

Posted by: frostanna | December 7, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who lives in the area, can go to the game, but doesn't -- well, you don't deserve to call yourself a Terrapin fan. Just keep griping about the bowl and the stadium, talk about basketball and Duke, Duke, Duke till the cows come home ... and then watch East Carolina and its fan base deliver a stinging indictment of Maryland fandom where football is concerned on Dec. 29. I'm a College Park alumnus who frankly is ashamed of my fellow fans. You want a top-flight football program? Show it!

Posted by: VPaterno | December 7, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

There will be plenty of MD fans there. Probably at least 15-20K. I've had 4 ticket requests from Md fans--all of whom don't have season tickets. Again, it's just anecdotal evidence but I think MD will be well represented in the stands. Well, as well represented as you can be for a wednesday afternoon game.

Here you go MD fans, tix as cheap as $25:

http://www.militarybowl.org/tickets/tickets/

Posted by: Barno1 | December 7, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

4 tix and program for $20 each:

http://www.militarybowl.org/tickets/ticket-packages/

Posted by: Barno1 | December 7, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Maryland needs to stop appealing to fans to buy bowl tickets "to demonstrate to other bowl games that they are committed to their team." This is not true and even if it is true, no self respecting Terp fan actually believes it because we have heard this nonsense before. Let me make sure that I understand this twisted logic: It did not matter that Maryland took 30,000 fans to the Orange Bowl in 2002, 20,000 fans to the Chick-Fil-A and Gator Bowls, and set an attendance record at the Champs Sports Bowl in 2006, but it will matter if Maryland sells their 10,000 seats in the Military Bowl? Give me a break. Stop playing me for a fool.

Look, I am alumn and I love the school and the football program, but the Coach and AD need to tell the fans the truth. Tell the fans that this thing was rigged, the school got jobbed, and that their attendance at this bowl game really won't make any difference next year because the ACC & the bowls will just phony up some other excuse and reporters like Eric Prisbell will print their lies as gospel. THEN, they should appeal to the fans to attend anyway because, despite all of this, the players gave them a great season and truly deserve their support.

BTW, I see that the Bowl Director Steve Beck has been running his mouth again. Is anyone besides me tired of this clown? I would love to know what kind of dirty deal he made with the ACC to ensure Terp participation. Now, he is acting like a shake down artist, threatening dire consequences unless Terps fans pay up. Hey Beck, please explain why I can't purchase the $25 dollar tickets thru the University?

Don't worry Mr. Beck, I will be at the game. But you are not going to like it when you see the sign that I plan to hang at the game. Have a happy holiday.

Posted by: smitch6087 | December 7, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

The bowl system is all about $$$$$. The two largest factors that determine participants are the television draw of the participants (i.e ratings) and how many fannies each university will put in the seats. Even if your record is better or you beat someone head-to-head, the bottom line is that Maryland does not have the brand name recognition nationally and is considered high risk to any bowl committee which is made up of local business people looking to impact their local economies in the dead of winter.
If you want to get invited to the desirable bowls, you have to win games and build a reputation for traveling well. For years Virginia Tech has not only sold out their home games, but they fill stadiums on the road too. They have build brand name recognition for television, but they also put butts in seats. They played USC and Boise State a couple of exits away from Byrd Stadium, why? Because Daniel Snyder knows that he can pull a team from the other side of the country and still fill a 91,000 seat stadium with maroon shirts and blue jeans. This year, the ACC championship game was sold out for the first time in history. Why? Because Virginia Tech fans bought all the tickets.
One can quote Maryland ticket sales from bowl games past, but if I was on a bowl committee I would be looking at this year’s Maryland attendance versus Morgan State (43,167, 80% of Byrd stadium capacity) and Florida International (33,254, 61% of capacity), the latter being the worst attended game during the Friedgen tenure. Followed by the game the bowl officials saw first-hand versus NC State (35,370, 65%), second worst attended during the Fridge era. Nothing scares a bowl committee more than empty seats at home games.
“[Military] Bowl officials anticipate a crowd of 30,000 at the 45,423-seat stadium. That total includes more than 5,000 tickets given to the military and some 2,500 tickets for District youth.” In other words, they are hoping for 50% of the stadium to have sold tickets. RFK is ten miles from College Park. For Terp fans there is no additional travel time, no hotel stay, you can even take the Metro! Yet “Maryland officials have been concerned about whether the school will sell its allotment of 10,000 tickets.”
Give me a break! If you want to have a first-class football program, then be a first class fan. If Virginia Tech was playing on December 29th, do you think there would be a sea of purple or a sea of maroon?

Posted by: gbrown4 | December 8, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

gbrown is right. If you don't like the way bowl selection committees treat the Terps, the only way to fight it is to show up for every home game. Period.

Most of the readers/commenters on this blog are not the problem. We all show up for every game. It's the casual fan that has to be convinced. The only way to get them to come out is to win.

John

Posted by: NaptownTerrapin | December 8, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

All good points, but I agree with smitch. Let's put it this way, it won't make a difference if we sell 20K tickets. Next year, they'll just say, "well it was 10 miles from home" so off to S.F. we'll go.

Will be there and trying to drag 2 others who didn't attend a game this year.

Posted by: island1 | December 8, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Island - Incorrect, because next year we'll be in the Orange Bowl. :)

Posted by: NaptownTerrapin | December 8, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@naptown AWESOME!

Posted by: terp51 | December 8, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Is ECU selling $25 tickets as part of their 10K allotment?
I don't mind paying a higher price for good seats, but in the past when purchasing through the University, my $90 seat was much worse than the same priced seat of a Terrapin Club member with higher point totals.
I understand the reasoning, and it was okay for me when attending the Orange Bowl, but it will not cut it for me at this Military bowl.
I'm going for the $25 tix that can be obtained thru Barno's link.

Posted by: mydogsnameisdixon | December 8, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

ECU has the $25 tickets, but they are not being sold to the public at this time. We are selling them to the students primarily so that we can get as many of them to the game as possible. The university has set up a bus trip for them that will include their hotel and tickets to the game.

Posted by: piratelady | December 11, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

TERPS NATION,

It's SAD to read the posts from some of these pseudo TERRAPIN fans - - concocting reasons why not to attend the Military Bowl!! The fact that the TERPS backed up a 2-10 season with an 8-4 season is exactly why we should support the Bowl Game. What does it matter if we can't stop some suspect bowl committee and shady ACC leadership from conspiring to passing the TERPS over again next year? Your support should not be predicated on such a factor, anyway. If you are a FAN, you should be eager to reward the TERPS for this season's efforts - - because YOU'RE A FAN.

How about going to the game because you want to see the TERPS hang 50+ on ECU? How about going to the game because you want to see the TERPS put the (so called) #8 ranked offense in the cobra-clutch until they tap-out?
How about going to the game to salute the ACC's Rookie (AND) Coach of the year?
How about going to the game to show the TERPS that you appreciate them?

If your reasoning for not going to the Bowl Game is to protest the selection, all you're doing is letting the TERRAPINS down. The squad will clearly see our support through our attendance. But they will surely view a misguided stay-at-home protest as a slap in their faces. Give the TERPS the ovation they deserve.

PROTECT THIS HOUSE!!!

Posted by: JEDI_TERP | December 12, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

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