Clemson Already Seeing Onslaught of Fans - WSPA.com

Clemson Already Seeing Onslaught of Fans

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It's a big match-up that's been years in the making. Two top-10 schools from neighboring states will face off Saturday night in Death Valley, as the Clemson Tigers take on the Georgia Bulldogs. It's a big match-up that's been years in the making. Two top-10 schools from neighboring states will face off Saturday night in Death Valley, as the Clemson Tigers take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
CLEMSON, S.C. -

It's a big match-up that's been years in the making.

Two top-10 schools from neighboring states will face off Saturday night in Death Valley, as the Clemson Tigers take on the Georgia Bulldogs.

Not only is it rare for the Tigers and the Bulldogs to face off, ESPN is also hosting College Game Day in Clemson for the first time since 2006.

The players aren't the only ones who've been prepping for game day.

The Esso Club has its game face on too.

"We want to do the best we can do this weekend. There are people in from out of town. We're going to be on national TV and get a lot of publicity. So, welcome to Clemson!" said manager Candice Bell.

Bell expects it to be the busiest weekend the restaurant has ever seen. They've hired on extra people to help out.

"We brought in extra refrigeration for all the food we had to order. We've got more beer onsite than we've ever had onsite, more liquor onsite. We're putting a big screen TV in the parking lot," said Bell.

Dozens of RVs have already staked out prime tailgating spots.

Richard Bennett drove in Thursday. He graduated from Clemson back in 1970, when the dress code for tailgating was a little different.

"We actually got dressed up. People came in with coats and ties,” said Bennett.

He said, back then, a Tigers versus Bulldogs game wasn't so unusual.

"In the 60s and 70s, we played Georgia. It was a yearly event, playing Georgia," said Bennett.

But now the match-up is expected to bring in as many as 250,000 people, creating a traffic nightmare in the area even if you're not going to the game.

State Troopers are going to be out directing traffic from 11:00 in the morning on Saturday until daylight on Sunday.

Highway Patrol Cpl. Bill Rhyne said the biggest traffic issue is going to come Saturday night after the game, when about 100,000 people are going to be trying to leave all at once.

"We’ve got a lot of troopers who are going to be over there directing traffic. We don’t want any of them getting hit, we don’t want them getting involved in an accident. So we just tell people, ‘Please be patient with us.’ We’re going to get you out," said Rhyne.

Rhyne suggests, if you can, try to stay in Clemson overnight on Saturday, especially if you've been drinking and didn't designate a sober driver.

Clemson is making plans in case nasty weather hits during Saturday night's game. The university will suspend play if lightning is reported within 6 miles of campus, and fans will have to seek shelter under the stands where the walkways are.

If you are going to the game, there are some new security measures at Clemson this year. You can't bring coolers, briefcases, luggage computer bags or camera bags inside the gate. Large chair backs are banned too.

If you bring banned items, you will have to take them back to your car.

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