After plenty of groaning and complaining from Gamecock fans, the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee has finally approved the construction of a brand new video screen for Williams-Brice Stadium. With the current board clocking in at 20 feet high by 29 feet long, the upgrade to 36 feet high by 124 feet long would move USC from 10th in the SEC (out of 12 schools) to third.
The new video board will cost the University $6.5 million, a hefty price by anyone’s standards. But the addition of 3,884 square feet to the current, mediocre screen will undoubtably lead to higher ticket sales and happier (read: returning) patrons. Not to mention the current screen was such a problem for fans that $5.2 million has already been donated to improve the system.
An extra $2 million will also go toward updating the video control room, which hasn’t been upgraded in 15 years, and in the past five years has multiplied the video output by more than 45 times — 35 in 2006 to 1600 so far in 2011.
The Athletics Committee has also announced that 1,000 of those seats will be allocated to the student section. Meaning this new video board will benefit students delegated to those less-coveted seats in addition to paying ticket-holders.
With the university’s practice of continuously throwing money at overpriced and unnecessary projects (read: USC Connect, Thomas Cooper fountain), it’s nice to see them finally addressing problems people actually want fixed, like the inability to see what’s going on during the game from any seat in the upper deck and a control room that’s outdated by a decade and a half.