GREENVILLE, Pitt County - East Carolina University fans are painting the town purple and gold this weekend. Fans, alumni and students are gearing up for the big homecoming game Saturday.
It's going to be an exciting weekend in Greenville. It's not only homecoming, but the first early game the Pirates have played at home. Tailgating lots open at 8 a.m. and kickoff vs. Tulsa is at noon, a first for the Pirates this year.
ECU police are anticipating a large crowd. Lt. Chris Sutton said it doesn't matter what the team's record is or the weather conditions, Pirate alum always pack Greenville for homecoming.
"We expect about 45,000 tomorrow and that's what we anticipate with tickets out and people coming into the stadium," Sutton said. "That doesn't count what we have outside in the tailgate lots that never even come into the stadium. So we can have as many as 8,000 to 10,000 stay outside and never even come inside."
Sutton said be prepared this weekend for a lot of extra traffic around the city. Also note, Five Points in Uptown closed at 1 p.m. for Freeboot Friday celebrations and a pep rally.
Sutton said College Hill will close at 8:45 a.m. Saturday and 5th St. from Dickinson to Evans will close at 8 a.m. for the homecoming parade.
Events have been going on all week to get ready for this weekend. There was a banner competition, canned food drive and we can't forget homecoming court voting. The king and queen will be announced at the game.