They are simply known as the Pack and have been a staple of ACC football since they moved from the southern conference back in 1953. The Wolfpack may not be an elite college football team to most college football fans, but since joining the ACC in 1953 they have won 7 ACC championships and have been in 25 bowl games.
Since 1966 the Wolfpack have called the 57,583 capacity Carter-Finley Stadium home, routinely "packing" the house as they have now sold out of season tickets for nine straight years. Carter-Finley Stadium may not have the reputation of fellow stadiums like the Doak or Death Valley, but State fans fill the seats and can make Carter-Finley Stadium a pretty loud atmosphere for visiting teams.
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You won't find anything unique or out of the ordinary at Carter-Finley Stadium when you are standing in the concession lines. Everything I saw is pretty much on par with every other college stadium. They have Chick-fil-A, BBQ and steak and cheese sandwiches, as well as all your other basics like hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, pretzels, etc.
Carter-Finley Stadium offers a variety of Coca-Cola products all at average fares. Overall, there is nothing exciting really being offered at Carter-Finley, but all the prices were right on point. I would suggest that mingling in the tailgates is definitely a better option.
The North Carolina ACC teams like Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and NC State may be known more for their college basketball prominence and rowdy arenas, but don't let that fool you. They still know how to get crazy for football too. As I walked toward the stadium, I was pleased and amazed with the friendliness of all the tailgaters inviting me in to various tailgates for a variety of food and beverages.
Once I entered the stadium, I was even more surprised to see not only a full house but a very rowdy and loud crowd more than twenty minutes before kickoff time. The school does a wonderful job in showing great commemoration to former Pack players like Philip Rivers and Torry Holt by displaying their retired numbers on the west side of the stadium.
Carter-Finley Stadium is definitely an atmosphere that any college football fan would love especially on a night of a big upset like I saw. Even though Carter-Finley is approaching 50 years of age, it is still a beautiful stadium and love what the university has done with it.
Raleigh has plenty of great options when it comes to grabbing something to eat or drink before the game. I will mention just a couple of places that I stopped at and will highly recommend to anybody in the area.
The first place that I highly recommend is The Roast Grill. This place is absolutely amazing. If you're a fan of a great hot dog, then you should make sure to stop here. The Roast Grill goes with the saying that a great dog doesn't need a lot of fixings to be good. They only offer mustard, onions, slaw and chili with their dogs, so if that isn't to your liking then this isn't your place. I tried a hot dog with chili and slaw and have to say it was one of the best hot dogs I have ever eaten and I definitely recommend it to anyone. Make sure you bring cash because The Roast Grill doesn't take any form of credit card.
The next place I highly recommend is Frazier's Bistro, which is a popular spot for a night out or place to go after the game. While Frazier's looks really nice with a variety of decor, the real deal about this place is what is going on in the kitchen. Most of the food is prepared with local ingredients and ranges from sweet pea and ricotta ravioli to garlic rubbed pork. I recommend trying out the ice cream with berries, brown sugar and almond crumble - you won't be disappointed.
ACC fans are known for being rowdy college basketball viewers but they hang with the best of fans in the college football atmosphere as well. The fans filled the stadium and cheered on their Wolfpack throughout the game. I also found the tailgating fans to be extremely friendly and welcoming as I made my way around the stadium before the game. I believe every college football fan will be pleasantly surprised with the dedication and friendliness of Wolfpack fans.
I found access to Carter-Finley Stadium to be an absolute breeze which is always a plus in my book. I found parking to be readily available for only $10, and it wasn't too much of a trek to the stadium from most lots. The bathrooms are plentiful and in great shape, and due to the wide concourses walking around the stadium was easy.
With season tickets having been sold out for years, I thought getting tickets to Carter-Finley would be tough. However, in talking with most students and fans, getting tickets to most NC State games is pretty easy and usually not at too high of a price. Tickets sell on NC State's official site for around $25 for most games, which I can guarantee you is well worth the price of admission. I would gladly pay double that and not complain one bit at all. Overall Carter-Finley is a beautiful stadium and is well worth the price of admission to get in.
One extra point to the great job the university does to commemorate former Wolfpack football players. It is always great to see a university take care of its former alumni.
My second extra point goes to the fans and tailgaters of NC State. These guys really know how to treat a visitor whomever it may be. I saw them treat many people in Florida State or UNC gear just like they were one of their own. This is always great to see nowadays.
My third extra point goes to the university and how well it has done on its upgrades to the stadium. From talking to students and alumni this place has really been transformed and made into a beautiful stadium.
NC State may not be on the top of any college football polls or radars but I will say if you are over-looking this place then you are sadly mistaken. Carter-Finley is a beautiful stadium with a great atmosphere, great fans and some of the best tailgaters around. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Raleigh and Carter-Finley Stadium and look forward to a trip back one day.
nc state university has some of the best athletic facilities and stadium in the country
Love Raleigh, and this stadium puts you very close to be able to enjoy downtown Raleigh. Plenty of parking, and located right next to the home of NC State basketball/Carolina Hurricanes
Overall not bad, but the fans are obnoxious. Many get drunk while tailgating and show it while in the stadium. The Student Section is really good though, and they get the rest of the crowd going. Excellent venue, by far one of the best in the ACC if not the best.
Home of the best football and football atmosphere in NC. The Wolfpack faithful know how to have a good time and they enjoy their teams. On average games I'd rate the atmosphere at a 7.8 and on big games it can really be electric and as loud as any stadium in the country....a true 10.
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