What you need to know ahead of the Gamecocks’ rescheduled game against SC State
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - For the first time in several years, the University of South Carolina football team changed its schedule due to the threat of severe weather in the area.
The Gamecocks will take on South Carolina State University on Thursday night as opposed to Saturday, with Hurricane Ian looming.
“Hopefully it doesn’t have too much of a bad outcome for our fans,” Lance Grantham, Senior Associate AD for Ticketing and Parking with Gamecock Athletics, said. “We expect it not to be a full house, but we don’t know that it would have been anyway.”
The South Carolina Highway Patrol said an adequate amount of troopers will be stationed near Williams-Brice on Thursday, and there’s potential for some changes to traffic patterns given that the game will be taking place on a weeknight.
Trooper Tyler Tidwell said Highway Patrol is considering not converting Bluff Road into one-way traffic toward Interstate 77, as is typically done toward the end of games.
Tidwell said fans should consider arriving two hours before the 7 P.M. kickoff.
“If you’re headed from work to home, just be mindful that there will be more people in the area than usual, especially on a Thursday,” he said. “Just pack your patience and know that troopers and other law enforcement officers will be there to assist you.”
WIS spoke to several fans Wednesday who said they will not be able to attend the game due to the reschedule.
Ray Weston will be among those not in attendance.
“It’s unfortunate that you’ve got a storm of that magnitude rolling in no matter what state, and the damage it potentially could cause and that’s your first concern,” he said.
Weston is a South Carolina alumnus and diehard Gamecock fan but said the change is not feasible for his family.
“I think maybe some people could work that a lot easier than others, I can’t,” he said. “With children, they’ve got games that have been moved now to the exact same time. If you’ve got a choice to go to your child’s game or go to a Carolina game, I’m going to go to my child’s game.”
Gamecock Athletics encourages fans who are unable to go Thursday to sell their tickets.
The best way to sell, they say, is through the Gamecocks online account.
Grantham said fans cannot obtain any refunds for this game.
“Our ticket terms and policies prevent us from doing a refund when the game’s been rescheduled like this,” he said. “If it was extenuating circumstances where we were actually going to play at the end of the season or reschedule another opponent, that would be something we had done in the past.”
When historic flooding hit Columbia in 2015, the UofSC contest against Louisiana State University was moved to Baton Rouge.
A game in 2018 against Marshall was canceled due to the threat of severe weather and replaced on the schedule at the end of the season against a different opponent.
In each of those instances, fans received refunds.
In 2016, the Gamecocks shifted its game against Georgia to a Sunday due to Hurricane Matthew.
“We slid it to Sunday to avoid some weather, and we did not issue refunds for that,” Grantham said. “Hoping to have the same kind of outcome for our fans where the event goes on, we avoid putting our fans in any danger with the weather and it’s a successful event.”
All parking lots will be open as normal, Gamecocks Athletics said, with most opening at 1 P.M.
Gamecock Athletics said they made the decision in consultation with the governor’s office, the National Weather Service, the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and the Columbia Police Department, along with other state and local partners.
Notice a spelling or grammar error in this article? Click or tap here to report it. Please include the article’s headline.
Copyright 2022 WIS. All rights reserved.