It had been mentioned as being in the works, and now it's official: the South Carolina Gamecocks and North Carolina Tar Heels will play their season openers against each other in 2019 and 2023. The exact dates are not clear yet, but it will be over Labor Day weekend both years (around August 31, 2019 and around September 2, 2023).
We had speculated that 2019 would be a target date since the Tar Heels were booked for the opening weekend up until then. The question is whether the game will be on a Thursday or a Saturday. Both sides will be keeping in mind the fact that tickets have been tough to sell for tomorrow's game; much of the out-of-town fanbase will be at work and unable to make it out. At last check, 20,000 tickets remained. Another reason is the high ticket price, starting at about $80 for a upper-level seat (with Steve Spurrier's wife paying closer to $300 for her ticket). Prices like that are hardly ideal for two teams expected to finish at or below the middle of their respective conferences.
The Gamecocks now have one open date left for 2019. It was previously announced that the team would play at East Carolina along with their annual game with Clemson (a home game on November 30). The fourth open date is expected to be filled by an FCS team. North Carolina has a pair of open dates left that year as they will visit Wake Forest in a non-ACC affair on September 14, 2019.