Pirates Overview

Fast facts

League: NCAA Football

Head Coach: Mike Houston

Team Mascot: PeeDee the Pirate

Year Opened: 1963

Capacity: 51000

City / State: Greenville / North Carolina

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

ECU vs NC State

Rival Team: NC State Wolfpack

The fact NC State and ECU are the two largest universities in North Carolina, and the proximity of the schools has led to the creation of a somewhat heated rivalry over the years. The rivalry on the gridiron dates back to 1970 when the Wolfpack took down the Pirates 23-6. The rivalry has flourished since then as 2007 even saw the addition of the Victory Barrel trophy. ECU has fared better in the series of late having won the last two matchups between themselves and the hated Wolfpack.


Rival Team: UNC Tar Heels

The rivalry between ECU and UNC goes back to 1972 when these two large North Carolina-based state universities first met. One of the unique things about this rivalry is the fact that ECU’s strong showing in the schools’ 1973 matchup led to the creation of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. The Tar Heels lead the all-time series 11-4-1, but the Pirates have won the last two meetings. It’s always a big deal when ECU and UNC meet, so make sure to grab tickets to this matchup if you can.


Rival Team: UCF Knights

ECU’s rivalry with UCF is one of the newer ones in college football; however it is quickly becoming a very heated one as the two schools have played in the same conference 2005, first in Conference USA and then starting in 2014 the American Athletic Conference. The Pirates have had the edge on the Knights since the beginning of this rivalry having won the first matchup in 1991 and continue to lead the all-time series to this day with a 9-4 record.

Pirates Tailgate Guide


Tailgating at East Carolina University is a game day must if you want to get the most out your trip to Greenville. Every die hard Pirates fan will be found in the parking lots of Dowdy-Ficklin Stadium grilling, drinking, and getting ready for a great day of Pirates football! You can’t drive down the street in Greenville without seeing some enthusiastic Pirates fans, as everyone goes all out on game day to show off their Pirates pride.

The ECU is located in North Carolina, which means barbecue is also a big component of the excellent tailgate display you’ll find here. The lots around the stadium are chalked full of smokers, and you’ll see several full pig roasts, so come prepared to enjoy some of the best barbecues you’ll find while tailgating at a college football game. If barbecue isn’t your thing though don’t worry as ECU’s proximity to the ocean means there is plenty of seafood to be had as well.


The Pirate Walk

One must do pregame tradition is The Pirate Walk, which takes place before each home game. The Pirate Walk starts at Clark-LeClair Stadium and ends at the team locker room in the Ward Sports Medicine Building and features the football players and cheerleaders walking past hundreds of cheering and adoring fans as the team makes their way to the locker room. If you want to show off your support for the Pirates then make sure to stop by The Pirate Walk.

Buccaneer Buffet

Join your fellow ECU alumni for an incredible tailgate party. Buccaneer Buffet is the perfect place to tailgate if you’re looking to take part in the festivities but don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up your own tailgate.

play Watch video

Where to tailgate

Pirates Stadium Guide

In Game

Despite not being a well-known football institution nationally, ECU provides one of the best gameday experiences in the nation. The fans here are some of the rowdiest, and you’ll find that these rowdy fans create an incredible atmosphere that makes the trip to Greenville, NC well worth your while.

ECU fans brim with passion in pride in their team, which has been especially apparent recently as the team climbs its way up the college football ranks. All Throughout Greenville you’ll see people dressed head to toe in purple and gold on game day, which produces a great atmosphere that translates directly to the atmosphere in the stadium. This strong passion for all things Pirates football creates a great experience for Pirates fans and neutrals, however, if you’re coming to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium as a visiting fan expect to hear some heckling as Pirates pride is on full display here.

The most vocal section at any Pirates game is the “Boneyard.” The “Boneyard” is the nickname of the student section of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, which is often the most raucous part of the entire stadium. Chants and screaming fans will be heard from this section all throughout both the stadium and the game, so if you’re sitting here then come prepared to bring your vocal chords and cheer on the Pirates.

A Pirates game is also filled with plenty of pageantry and tradition, which last the entire game from the  Purple Haze intro to the raising of the No Quarter Flag. You’ll no doubt feel that you are at one of the premier college football venues in the American Athletic Conference during your visit to Greenville.

Things to check out


Like any great Pirates themed team ECU has a cannon that they fire off before every home game. The cannon not only fires up the crowd but also strikes fear into the heart of any team making the trip to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

play Watch video

Jolly Roger

The Pirates reveal their “true colors” by lifting up a flag which is a skull and crossbones with a purple captain’s hat and ECU on it before the game. This declares that the Pirates are going to attack their enemy and is a great way for the Pirates to motivate the team and fans before the game.

The Ghost on the Wind

This popular poem is read before many of the home sporting events at East Carolina and is a great school tradition that gets everyone in the mood to cheer on their Pirates.

Purple Haze

This classic Jimi Hendrix song is played before every home game as the players enter the field through a cloud of purple smoke. The intro gets everyone excited to cheer on the Pirates throughout the game, which gets things started off on the right foot.

play Watch video

"No Quarter"

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the fans are greeted with the raising of the “No Quarter” flag. The flag is a representation of a pirate battle in which the enemy would not surrender, and thus the Pirates must have no mercy on them. The flag signifies that the Pirates won’t give up in the final quarter and will finish off the opposition to come away with the W.

play Watch video

PeeDee the Pirate

The lovable mascot of the ECU Pirates can be seen entertaining the crowd at every home game. He is also probably the only Purple Pirate you will ever see in your lifetime, so make sure to take in his antics while at the game.

play Watch video

Fight Songs

  1. E.C. Victory

    Cheer for East Car’lina,
    Cheer for old E.C.,
    We know we’re the finest,
    Onward to victory!
    Cheer for East Car’lina,
    Cheer on for old E.C., Loyal and Bold,
    we’re the purple and gold,

  2. ECU Alma Mater

    Praise to your name so fair,
    Dear old East Car’lina, your joys we’ll all share,
    and your friends we’ll ever be.
    We pledge our loyalty,
    and our heart’s devotion,
    To thee, our Alma Mater,
    love and praise.

  3. We Know We’re the Finest

    We Know We’re the Finest

  4. Onward to Victory, Go Pirates

    Onward to Victory,
    Go Pirates!

  5. Pirates, arrrrrggg

    A unique chant that is done at a Pirates home game, is that after the Pirates convert a first down. The PA announcer says, “First Down” and the Pirates faithful respond by saying, “Pirates, arrrrrggg”.

    First Down!
    Pirates, arrrrrggg!

Pirates Bars & Restaurants

  1. Dickinson Avenue Public House

    Dickinson Avenue Public House

    A lively and eclectic restaurant in Greenville, NC featuring modern, made from scratch American dishes utilizing fresh, local ingredients.

    703 Dickinson Ave, Greenville, NC 27834, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  2. Pantana Bob’s

    Pantana Bobs beer

    A cool place that has good food and drinks!

    513 Cotanche St, Greenville, NC 27858, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  3. Winslow’s


    Winslow's is Eastern North Carolina's premier spot for craft beer selections!

    120 W 5th St, Greenville, NC 27858, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $$

  4. Hard Times

    Hard Times drink

    This place is flooded with fun, cool vibes, great food and amazing drinks!

    209 E 5th St, Greenville, NC 27858, USA

    Bar website

    american - $

  5. Chico’s Mexican Restaurant

    Chicos Mexican Restaurant beer

    It's where Amigos gather to enjoy fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine and delicious Margaritas.

    521 Cotanche St, Greenville, NC 27835, USA


    Bar website

    mexican - $$

  6. The Blackened Kraken Bar & Grill

    The Blackened Kraken Bar and Grill

    At The Blackened Kraken Bar & Grill, we carefully developed our menu to offer a wide array of options, from rich and savory, to light and refreshing.

    123 E 5th St, Greenville, NC 27858, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  7. The Scullery

    The Scullery coffee

    A casual artistic coffee and ice cream shop where you can relax while enjoying delicious fresh food MADE FROM SCRATCH and using LOCAL INGREDIENTS.

    431 Evans St, Greenville, NC 27858, USA


    Bar website

    cafe - $

  8. Christy’s Euro Pub

    Christys Euro Pub drinks

    Looking for a nice relaxing place to grab a bite, a drink, or just come relax and listen to some local bands? Well come hit us up at Christy’s Euro Pub.

    301 S Jarvis St, Greenville, NC 27858, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  9. B’s Barbecue

    Bs Barbecue

    Their barbeque is to die for!

    751 B\'s Barbeque Rd, Greenville, NC 27834, USA


    Bar website

    bbq - $

  10. Sup Dogs

    Sup Dogs

    Ranked 15th Best Hot Dog In America by Business Insider! Sup Dogs Restaurant serves specialty all beef hot dogs along with the freshest made-from-scratch burgers.

    213 E 5th St, Greenville, NC 27858, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  11. Marathon Restaurant

    Marathon Restaurant

    Greenville's Original Greek-American Restaurant Since 1979!

    706 Evans St, Greenville, NC 27834, USA


    Bar website

    american - european - $

  12. Starlight Cafe

    Starlight Cafe

    Serving downtown Greenville the freshest cuisine for over 15 years, along with the finest cocktails.

    104 W 5th St, Greenville, NC 27858, USA


    Bar website

    american - european - $$