More than $1 million in upgrades approved for Williams-Brice

More than $1 million in upgrades approved for Williams-Brice
The student section in the north stands of Williams-Brice Stadium comes alive after a South Carolina touchdown against Georgia on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 in Columbia, S.C. (Travis Bell/SIDELINE CAROLINA)

Several significant upgrades to the home of South Carolina football team are coming down the pike.

On Wednesday morning, the university's Board of Trustees voted to approve Phase I renovations to Williams-Brice Stadium. That portion of the project carries a budget of $420,000, which will be funded by athletic operating funds.

Included among the changes to the stadium are premium seating areas in the south end of the stadium, in addition to new seating areas for recruits. That portion of the stadium would include a '2001 Club' that serves about 200 pass holders, in addition to the 150 or so Loge seats, which allows fans to see players as they emerge from the locker room, before entering the field. It would be a setup that's modeled after the Dallas Cowboys.

Construction on the new seating areas would begin at the end of the 2019 season and finished in time for the start of the 2020 season.

"We are attempting to create about 9,000 premium opportunities for our patrons," athletics director Ray Tanner said, following the Board meeting.

Changes to the Kay and Eddie Floyd Football Building were also among the plans approved by the Board. The Floyd Football Building, which currently houses offices for the Gamecocks' coaches and support staff, will become vacant once construction of the $50 million Cyndi and Kenneth Long Family Football Operations Center is completed later this year.

The Floyd Football Building project will renovate and repurpose the first floor to become a game day club. The existing office spaces will be gutted to provide open event space with a bar and food areas. New restrooms will also be created. Upgrades to this space, which is approximately 3,100 square feet, will carry a price tag of $750,000, to be funded by athletic operating funds.

More plans for Phase I renovations were posted to TheBigSpur's message board on Wednesday morning. Additional news and notes are on the way with this breaking story.

Members of the buildings and grounds committee also discussed plans for a sculpture that commemorates the career of former Gamecocks women's basketball star A'ja Wilson, who was recently named WNBA Rookie of the Year. Wilson, a three-time All-American and SEC Player of the Year, led South Carolina to a national championship in 2017.

After the threat of Hurricane Florence canceled the Marshall game, South Carolina returns to action on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff against Vanderbilt at 4 o'clock on Saturday. The Gamecocks are currently listed as a 2.5-point favorite over the Commodores. SEC Network will provide television coverage with Taylor Zarzour (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (analyst) and Kris Budden (sideline) on the call.

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