On Monday, ECU athletic’s ticketing department unveiled a lottery system that will decide which students can attend home football games, beginning on Oct. 17 against Navy.

Under North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s Phase 3 reopening plan, which took effect at 5 p.m. on Friday and runs until at least 5 p.m. on Oct. 23, large outdoor venues with a capacity of more than 10,000 can open at 7% capacity.

With Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium’s 51,000-seat capacity, that means around 3,570 individuals will be allowed in for the Pirates’ game against the Midshipmen. Of course, not all of those will be students as the department must consider student-athletes’ families, Pirate Club members and other groups, as well.

“We’ll continue to offer two to our own football team so they can have their family members attend,” ECU Athletic Director Jon Gilbert said on Sept. 24. “Then we’re also got to try to spread it as much as we can because there are a number of constituent groups that really do need to get in from a priority standpoint. We’re going to have to be really methodical on how we do that.”

While Monday’s email to students did not mention how many students are going to be permitted entry, it did set up the process for how they can enter the lottery if they so choose.

Students can visit http://www.ecupirates.com/students to begin the process. A full list of steps can be found here.

Signups run from Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. until Friday, Oct. 9 at 11:59 p.m. ahead of ECU’s home game against Navy on the 17th. Winners of the lottery will be notified during game week and will receive two mobile student tickets via email. Those tickets gain the selected students entry to sections 26-28 of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, or the “Boneyard.”

Entry to the stadium for students will be through Gate 10. The tickets can only be redeemed by full-time ECU students with a valid OneCard. Once inside the stadium, students are expected to socially distance and wear a mask.

Moving forward, the athletic department hopes to continue scaling its attendance up, but that decision will ultimately be made for them by the governor’s office. For each game that reduced attendance is implemented, the student ticket lottery will run from Wednesday to Friday of the week prior.

There are currently three home games left on ECU’s schedule this season, including Oct. 17 against Navy (noon kick-off), Nov. 7 against Tulane and Nov. 28 against SMU.

The Pirates are back in action this Saturday against USF in Tampa, Florida. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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