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Largest crowd for a Canes game at Sun Life expected Saturday as season-ticket packages nearly gone

The largest crowd in Sun Life Stadium history for a Hurricanes game is expected Saturday when the University of Miami hosts the Florida Gators in what could very well be the final regular season meeting between the two rivals.

And if you don't have a ticket yet expect to pay top dollar for a last minute seat. The game, long sold out, has individual tickets selling on the secondary market for close to $200.

The demand for Saturday's game has certainly helped the Hurricanes' season ticket sales. According to Chris Freet, Assistant Athletics Director for Communications and Marketing, only 350 to 400 of 30,000 season ticket packages remain. The cheapest are going for $390 with the most expensive stretching to $1,400.

UM sold a little less than 23,000 season tickets last year according to Freet.

Miami brought in an extra 1,313 seats behind the home team bench to accommodate a bigger crowd. Freet said capacity for Saturday's game has been set for 76,854.

The largest home crowd for a Hurricanes game at Sun Life was 75,115 for Florida State on Oct. 9, 2010. Miami, which has averaged about 48,560 fans a game since moving from the Orange Bowl, has only drawn better than 60,000 for a game five other times.

Those are: Oct. 20, 2012 vs. Florida State (73,328); Sept. 17, 2011 vs. Ohio State (66,279); Oct. 4, 2008 vs. Florida State (65,786); Sept. 5, 2011 vs. Duke (62,053); Oct. 3, 2009 vs. Oklahoma (61,790).

The largest crowd in Sun Life Stadium history for a college football game was 80,120 for last year's BCS title game between Alabama and Notre Dame.

Freet said Governor Charlie Crist and state senator Marco Rubio are expected to attend Saturday's game. Cortez Kennedy, Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Ray Lewis and Bernie Kosar are among the former players who have already confirmed with UM they will attend.

Former Hurricanes basketball standout James Jones has also reserved a suite for him and several Heat teammates.

Freet said 115 recruits and 350 high school football coaches have been invited to the game by Miami.

Former Hurricanes quarterback Brock Berlin, a transfer from Florida, is UM's honorary captain and will be involved in the pre-game coin flip.

"We expect a few other local celebrities to come out of the wood work," Freet said.

With prepaid parking passes sold out, the only available parking spots at the stadium are in the auxiliary lots. They go for $30. You must show a game ticket to park.

"I know for 2010 Florida State game there were 8,000 people just partying in the auxiliary parking lot that never came into the game," Freet said. "Because the stadium just went through the BCS title game, I think they've got the patterns worked out and traffic will move pretty quickly. But everybody should add a little extra time for their drive and parking."

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