COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 19, 2018) – Following Board of Trustee approval, University of South Carolina Athletics is excited to announce that it will be pursuing state approval for $21 million in improvements to Williams-Brice Stadium with a target for completion before the 2020 season. Much of the project is focused on repurposing the areas in the stadium vacated by the football program’s move to the Cyndi and Kenneth Long Family Football Operations Center.
While the plan calls for extensive improvements to the fan experience through new club spaces, it also aims to enhance in-stadium recruiting capabilities for the football program. Renovations will include space in the Crews Building to feed and host recruits along with a front-row viewing patio for the 2001 entrance. Additionally, a new section of loge seating will be added at the southwest corner which will also make room for a ground-level club area where Gamecock fans will be able to watch players take the field from a mere few feet away.
“I really like what Coach Tanner has done with developing this plan,” said head coach Will Muschamp. “We’ve said all along that, with the amazing impact the Long Center will have on our program, we had a chance to improve our recruiting experience inside Williams-Brice Stadium, while doing something impactful for our fans. This club concept and the enhancements to the Crews Building are going to leave Gamecock Football in a really good place on game days for years to come.”
Additionally, substantial renovations are expected to improve the experience of fans sitting on the 100 (West Club) and 400 (East Club) levels, as well as the south lower level. Donors sitting on both club levels will have priority access to renovated lounge areas that feature air conditioning and additional point-of-sale locations. These additional concessions locations are intended to assist with decreasing wait times at existing points-of-sale, particularly on the upper east side of Williams-Brice Stadium.
“We are always looking to improve the gameday experience for our fans at Williams-Brice Stadium,” noted Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “Gamecock Park and Springs-Brooks Plaza have revitalized the footprint of Gamecock Football. Now, with the Long Center on board, we’ve got a chance to take that next step. With access to climate-controlled areas and better amenities for our fans, there is real focus on making sure we do all that we can to keep our fans happy and coming back to Williams-Brice.”
“We are in the toughest conference in the nation – the SEC,” added Tanner. “To be able compete for conference championships, we need to preserve the strength of our revenue opportunities and continue to upgrade our facilities. This is a significant investment that will benefit our fans and our athletic programs.”
Unlike the premium seats currently in Williams-Brice where the ticket price includes access to a gourmet catered meal, this project focused on providing a range of affordable price points to preserve the current season ticket base in these areas. “Our two opening games this year were very warm and later in the season, we get some cold weather,” said Steve Eigenbrot, Senior Associate AD – Development. “Our plan is to add great amenities to make our season ticketholders more comfortable during the game, but to do so in a cost-effective manner that’s priced significantly lower than the premium areas we have now.”
With a target completion date prior to the 2020 season, the athletics department anticipates the football season ticket renewal deadline will be moved up earlier in the spring of 2020. This move will facilitate a plan to work with any donors who might want to move their seats, making special accommodations for those donors impacted by the changes. Additionally, the department plans to roll out further details for the project and a comprehensive plan for future improvements later in this academic year in accordance with this project’s pending review by state authorities.
Along with this project targeted for 2020, the BOT also approved a plan to transition the first floor of the Eddie and Kay Floyd Building, formerly the home of football staff offices, into an air-conditioned club space to be opened for the 2019 season. Passes will be sold for access to this area on an annual basis.
* Loge: Approximately 38 new loge boxes (152 seats) and an observation deck. These private box seats will be sold in sets of four and provide wonderful views of the field and videoboard from the southwest corner.
* “2001 Club”: Luxury ground-level air-conditioned club space to accommodate not only loge patrons, but also approximately 300 more passes that will provide the purchaser access to fabulous views of the Gamecocks entering the field to Space Odyssey 2001.
* 100 Level: development of an over 12,000 square foot air-conditioned club area positioned behind sections 101-105. This ideally located space on the west side will provide all ticket holders on the 100 level a comfortable place to catch up on the scores of the day and offers spectacular west-facing views of Gamecock Park and the new Long Family Football Operations Center.
* 400 Level: Located on the existing scholarship level, one flight below the east upper concourse, the renovation of this level will bring online a massive air-conditioned club space stretching from ramp to ramp. Concession and restroom upgrades will also be part of this area.
* South Lower: Patrons seated in the south lower bowl will have access to one of two renovated areas associated with the current footprint of the south lower concourse and the Crews Building. Both will include access to air-conditioned areas, restroom and concession amenities.