COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - When the South Carolina Gamecocks host Tennessee on September 26, Williams-Brice Stadium will look a little different than fans remember it.
The stadium underwent a few renovations in an effort to enhance the fan experience. In all, the university spent $22.5 million to add premium seating in the stadium for fans.
“It’s all very impressive. These guys have done tremendous work, their creativity and I just get to show it off, but do appreciate it,” South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner said.
Among those are the 2001 Club, which is located by South Carolina’s entrance to the field. Also, the newly added Traditions Club was added to hold 3,000 fans. The former concourse area now has seating boxes equipped with mini-TVs and power outlets.
The stadium also added the Cockaboose Club. Inspired by the Cockaboose train that sits just outside of the stadium and has signage that shows the distance between Columbia and the opponent’s home site.
“The Cockaboose is our tradition here,” Tanner said, “and a lot of people nationally, when they think about Williams-Brice, they ask about our Cockabooses,” Tanner said, “and now we have the Cockaboose Club. We think that’ll have opportunities for us in the future to expand maybe have that open at times that are different than gamedays.
Also added to the stadium is the Horseshoe Club, which will hold 1,500 fans.
With the addition of the new amenities, the stadium did lose some seating. The capacity of the stadium shrinks from 80,250 to 77,259.
Still, South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner believes these renovations will improve the gameday experience for players and fans and he’s looking to continue to renovate the stadium and other university facilities in the coming years.
“I came here in the Fall of 1996,’ Tanner said, “and, across all facilities, we probably weren’t really up to par in the Southeastern Conference. We had some good stuff, but the Southeastern Conference is a monster league and we had work to do and that was one of the things that inspired me in the opportunity to become the athletics director. We’ve got to build. We’ve got to grow. We’ve got to be able to provide opportunities that are second to none. It’s not that we have to be the best of everyone, but we have to have great presentation and give young people an opportunity to make a decision to come here.”
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