COLUMBIA, SC (TheBigSpur.com) - It's looking more likely that University of South Carolina football fans will be getting a new video board for Williams-Brice Stadium.
The Intercollegiate Athletics Committee in the Board of Trustees meeting voted unanimously Friday to approve the construction of a $6.5 million video board to replace the one already in the stadium.
The proposed screen, which would be in place for the start of the 2013 season, would be 36 feet high by 124 feet long. The new screen would move USC from tenth in video board size in the SEC to third.
Executive Associate Athletics Director Kevin O'Connell compared the screen to the one in place at the University of Tennessee.
"The video board, if approved, is really a thank you to our fans," O'Connell said. "We've asked a lot of our fans, and this is our way of saying thank you. We are grateful to the board for this first step in the approval process."
Fans have been clamoring for a new video board in recent years. O'Connell said that 90 percent of fans polled said that the old video board was average or worse. Members of the committee also said they have been getting complaints about the current board, especially that it cannot be seen during day games.
Along with the new video board was a $2 million proposed upgrade to the stadium's video control room to help serve the screen and online production of videos. O'Connell said the current production facility is outdated by 15 years.
"Thirty-five videos were produced in 2006, while 1600 videos have already been produced in 2011," O'Connell said.
The next step for video board approval comes June 30 when it goes to the Buildings and Ground Committee.
Indoor Practice Facility
A proposal for a new indoor practice facility in the old farmer's market was also introduced in the meeting Friday.
The 90,000-foot structure would include a 120 yard long by 65 foot long field and other amenities like shower rooms and a sports medicine area. The indoor field would cost about $14.3 million or about $21 million if they decide to add weight, equipment and training rooms.
O'Connell said they will be able to secure funds and prepare the facility for phase one approval in September.
Other facility updates
Concrete is currently being torn up in the former farmer's market and that project will be complete in August 2012. Fans will be able to park in the farmer's market for the 2011 football season.
There will be a new women's restroom on the east side of Williams-Brice that will include 23 new stalls on that side of the stadium.
A new drainage system is being put into the softball stadium field and a new stadium plan has been approved