Appalachian State and East Carolina have agreed to a football series that will begin at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte and conclude with three on-campus games.
There will be two games in Greenville and one in Boone. Dates and more details about the series will be revealed Tuesday at 2 p.m. during a joint news conference involving the schools and the Charlotte Sports Foundation in Bank of America Stadium.
Appalachian State has never played in the Carolina Panthers' home stadium, which has more than 75,000 seats, and its last appearance in Charlotte was in 1971.
Instead of receiving a hefty payout to play a “money” game at an SEC school or another Power Five program, the Mountaineers will benefit financially from their appearance two hours southeast of Boone, as Appalachian State will receive a high percentage of the revenue from ticket sales in Charlotte and still have six home games on that year’s schedule.
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The Mountaineers, who received $1.15 million for opening the 2016 season at Tennessee, will begin the 2017 season at Georgia. They will play at Penn State in 2018, Wake Forest in 2020 and Miami in 2021, although the trips to Winston-Salem and south Florida won’t serve as “money” games because they conclude home-and-home agreements. Miami won 45-10 at Kidd Brewer Stadium in 2016, and Wake Forest will play in Boone this year.
Separated by roughly a four-hour drive, with four ACC programs between their campuses, Appalachian State and ECU have established traditions of football success at opposite ends of the state. They have played 31 times, with the Mountaineers winning 19 of the games but losing each of the past six. The last meeting was in 2012, when former Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore's final team lost 35-13 in Greenville.
“We’re excited to join East Carolina and the Charlotte Sports Foundation in making an announcement that we think will be good for our university, good for our state, good for college football and good for both fan bases,” said Appalachian State athletics director Doug Gillin, who declined to provide details about the future series.
Aside from 2012, the 2009 game in Greenville is the only other time the schools have met since 1979, when the Pirates won 38-21 in Boone with 13,815 fans in attendance. They played from 1972-79 and 1948-62.
Eighteen of the 31 games were contested in Greenville, 11 in Boone and two at neutral sites - Morganton in 1939 and Hickory in 1961. The Mountaineers have played once in an NFL stadium, beating Georgia State 37-3 in front of a small Georgia Dome crowd in 2015, and their last Charlotte-area appearance was a 35-10 victory against Davidson in 1971.
Appalachian State has played three other times in Charlotte, losing to Lenoir-Rhyne in 1961 and beating Catawba in 1931 and 1932.