Chapel Hill, N.C. ------ The University of North Carolina has accepted an invitation to represent the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Thursday, December 30, in Nashville (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The Tar Heels will face the University of Tennessee of the Southeastern Conference. It is the first meeting between the two schools since 1961.
Tickets are available to Rams Club members, UNC students, 2010 football season-ticket holders and General Alumni Association (GAA) members beginning Sunday evening (Dec. 5).
Priority deadline for those groups is Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 5 p.m. If available, tickets will be on sale to the general public on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.
Fans of each team have been given quality seat locations for the Music City Bowl, which will be played at LP Field, home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans. All lower level tickets are sold out except for those available through TarHeelBlue.com. Tickets are $65 for upper level and $85 for lower level.
"I'm excited our program has an opportunity to play Tennessee in the 2010 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville," said UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour. "I congratulate our student-athletes and coaching staff for their hard work, determination and perseverance this season.
"Our fans have been tremendous this year, setting a school record for average attendance (58,250). This bowl game is another fantastic opportunity to support this Tar Heel team and recognize the accomplishments of an outstanding senior class."
"I congratulate our team, and especially the 17 seniors, for the extraordinary job they've done in leading our program to a third consecutive bowl appearance," said head coach Butch Davis. "Regardless of the situation, this team fought week after week to make our fans proud. We look forward to representing North Carolina against a talented Tennessee team."
"On behalf of everyone associated with the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, we are truly excited to host the University of North Carolina this year," said Scott Ramsey, president and CEO. "We are confident that the student-athletes, administrators, coaches and fans will enjoy a few days in Music City culminating with a great Thursday night game against the University of Tennessee on December 30 at LP Field."
There are plenty of activities and events for Carolina fans in Nashville, the city known as the home of country music. Bowl events open to the public include: FCA Breakfast at 7:45 a.m. on Dec. 28, Coaches Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 29, Kids' Event at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 and the Music Fest/Battle of the Bands beginning at 5 p.m. on game day, Thursday, Dec. 30.
The Rams Club and the GAA will host a pregame event on Dec. 30 near the stadium. Please stay tuned to TarHeelBlue.com for more details.
Anthony Travel has put together several travel packages for Carolina fans coming to the Music City Bowl. Both participating teams will stay at the recently renovated Gaylord Opryland Hotel in the heart of downtown Nashville.
Many other hotels and accommodations are available downtown with access to a diverse collection of restaurants and world-class nightlife.
Carolina (7-5, 4-4 ACC) is in a bowl game for the third straight season, the school's longest streak since going to seven straight bowl games from 1992-98.
The Tar Heels are led by record-setting quarterback T.J. Yates, who threw for more than 3,000 yards this year, and an opportunistic defense that features several potential NFL draft picks. The Music City Bowl is Carolina's 28th all-time postseason bowl game, but first in Nashville, which is hosting its 13th bowl game.
Carolina and Tennessee will be meeting for 32nd time, and first since a 22-21 UNC win in 1961. The Volunteers lead the overall series, 20-10-1. Tennessee (6-6, 3-5 SEC) won just two of its first eight games this year, but rallied to win four straight and qualify for postseason play.