June 18, 2014
DENTON - Conference USA presidents and athletics directors have decided to modify but strictly enforce a league rule that prohibits student from sitting directly behind visiting benches for football games.
University of North Texas Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal lobbied to have restrictions on student seating lifted for two reasons: to give current students, who are future season ticket holders, prime seating options; and to ensure that the most visible sections of spectators for televised games were full of the most spirited fans. Administrators from other Conference USA schools, however, believed that allowing students behind the visiting bench promotes an environment of hostility and poor sportsmanship toward the visiting team. The rule as previously written completely excluded students from sitting behind visitor's benches.
The compromise to which C-USA agreed prohibits student seating from an area between the 35-yard lines and in the first five rows behind the visitors' bench. This will consume approximately 240 seats at Apogee Stadium, which North Texas will designate as reserved seating for purchase by young alumni (those who graduated from North Texas in the past five years). The area will include chair-back seating and will be ushered by stadium staff. Season tickets for the young-alumni seats will cost $100.
On the heels of a 9-4 season and a win in the 2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl on Jan. 1, the Mean Green is expected to challenge for a Conference USA championship in 2014. North Texas begins the season Aug. 30 against Texas in Austin, followed by the home opener on Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. against rival SMU. Tickets can be purchased by calling the North Texas Athletic ticket office at 800-UNT-2366 or online at www.meangreensports.com/tickets.