Big changes coming to game day at Williams-Brice

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Big things are growing off Bluff Road. What was the state Farmer's Market has almost transformed into a USC fan's dream.

"Our concept was to create one of the most beautiful places for our fans to park of anywhere in the nation," USC Executive Athletics Director Kevin O'Connell said.

O'Connell says the project will be the place to be come football season. He says the Grove at Ole Miss is an example of what they'd like to do here.

"For a long time, it was mostly asphalt and old industrial buildings. The fairgrounds were the first to transform their area, we're doing it now with the Farmer's Market," O'Connell said.

The site will feature 3,000 parking spots, four permanent restrooms, and what they're calling the Garnet Way, a game day parade route for the team and marching band lined by trees that were carefully selected by a university arborist. They're called scarlet oaks, and in the fall, they turn a shade of garnet -- definitely not orange.

"We prefer garnet in our facilities; there's no question about that," O'Connell said.

The game day face lift doesn't stop in the parking lot as fans will notice another big change once they get inside Williams-Brice Stadium. That's where they'll find a new video board that's nearly eight times as big as the old one.

"It's no question that our fans desperately wanted us to build a new video board," O'Connell said.

Construction workers have almost finished framing it up. The actual big screen hits town in July -- just in time for what fans hope will be another big year.

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