The legacy of USC AD Mike McGee
(Columbia) Jan. 19, 2005 - Mike McGee liked tackling things on a grand scale with USC football. He added club seats, skyboxes and the zone at Williams Brice.
McGee was a driving force behind building the Colonial Center for USC sports and that facility has brought in big entertainment like Shania Twain, Billy Joel and Britney Spears. Columbia Economic Development Director Jim Gambrell, "The impact of the Colonial Center from an economics standpoint has been fabulous for the city with the spinoffs that occur from the restaurant sales and bar sales and hotel room reservations."
McGee also said no to some things. His strong opinion against professional sports in Columbia prevented the Carolina Panthers from playing at Williams Brice for a season. He also said no to the Palmetto Bowl.
Mayor Bob Coble loved the idea of a bowl game in Columbia, "As mayor, I want everything to come to Columbia. And Dr. McGee and I had a different view of how it affected the University of South Carolina, but that's water under the bridge"
McGee also wasn't enthused about a shared stadium between the minor league Bombers and USC's baseball team. Sports talk show host Phil Kornblut, "He always thought about USC first and what was good for USC was what he wanted to do, even at the expense of things around the city."
Coble says there is something about McGee they all agree on, "I just think his legacy, from the economic standpoint of changing our community, will last for many years to come."