Those looking to secure a ticket to Duke's second home game of the season might be out of luck.
Saturday evening's matchup between Duke and North Carolina A&T at Wallace Wade Stadium is sold out on the team's website, per the team's Twitter. The game marks the first time since Duke faced N.C. Central in 2018 that all tickets have been distributed prior to gameday, per a team spokesperson.
Duke also announced an expansion of the student section. One section of bleachers on the end zone side in addition to the demarcated student area from the Sept. 2 home opener against Temple will be accessible for students Saturday.
Wallace Wade Stadium, which has held a capacity of 40,004 since its expansion ahead of the 2016 season, has seen a palpable decrease in attendance over the last several years. Average home attendance in 2016 was nearly 30,000 and that number fell to just above 15,000 in 2021. The season opener brought 20,722 fans, which was the highest recorded attendance since Wallace Wade reached capacity when Duke hosted Notre Dame in 2019.
Aided by the 2-0 start, the arrival of new head coach Mike Elko and the implementation of several initiatives to get fans—especially students—in the stands, Saturday's game continues to drive large crowds to Wallace Wade. Those initiatives include a new tailgate, a relocated student section, free jerseys for students, cash prizes and the ability for students to pick the music to be played during the game.
A significant part of the spike in ticket sales may be attributable to newly introduced digital student tickets, for which students register online and receive via email prior to each home game.
North Carolina A&T drew 18,091 spectators to Wallace Wade a year ago and 38,313 when the teams played for the first time in 2019.
The all-time record for attendance at Wallace Wade Stadium of 57,500 was set in 1949, before the venue's renovation, when the Blue Devils hosted North Carolina.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that tickets are sold out on the team's website.
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Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity junior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.