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20,000 tickets still available for North Carolina-South Carolina opener

Shockingly, there's not much demand for $70 tickets to see two mediocre teams.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night's season opening matchup between North Carolina and South Carolina, being played at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium, is 20,000 tickets short of a sellout, according to a report by Matt Connolly in The State:

Despite the game opening the college football season and being a close drive for fans of both schools, the executive director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation, Will Webb, expects 50,000 to 55,000 tickets will be sold in the Carolina Panthers' 73,298-seat stadium.

Representatives from South Carolina, including head coach Steve Spurrier, have blamed high ticket prices for the less-than-enthusiastic sales. Tickets for upper deck seats carry a $70 face value, while club seats are more than $250 apiece.

Game representatives told The State that the ticket prices are in line with three other neutral-site games, and that a Thursday kickoff was to blame for the tepid response. The three games in question -- Louisville-Auburn at the Georgia Dome, Alabama-Wisconsin at Arlington's AT&T Stadium, and Texas A&M-Arizona State at Houston's Reliant Energy Stadium -- all include at least one team ranked in the preseason top 25, and all six teams had better 2014 records than either North Carolina or South Carolina.

South Carolina and North Carolina have each been guaranteed a $3.2 million payment for their participation in the game, regardless of how many seats are sold.