With so much uncertainty regarding the status of the school year, there are two things that South Carolina students can look forward to this month: SEC football and Williams-Brice Stadium renovations being completed.
On Thursday, The Daily Gamecock took part in a media tour of the stadium hosted by Athletic Director Ray Tanner and Steve Eigenbrot, the senior associate athletic director of development and the Gamecock Club to see the newest upgrades.
The tour included stops at the Traditions Club, the Cockaboose Club, the Horseshoe Club and the 2001 Club. In addition, there will be more restrooms, which should help create less traffic during halftime bathroom breaks. These new additions to Williams-Brice Stadium will debut in time for kickoff this fall.
Perhaps the most-anticipated added area of the stadium is the 2001 Club, which is located at field level. Fans in this club will have access to private loge suites available in boxes of four, five and six, all-inclusive game day catering, private TV monitors and a full cash bar. The club members will have the opportunity to high five the players and coaches as they exit and enter the locker room for pregame, 2001 introduction and halftime.
“This project has a lot to do with our fans, has a lot do with seating,” Eigenbrot said. “But, it also had a lot to do with the football program, and the 2001 Club, this space, were things that Coach Muschamp was certainly very intimately involved in and excited about.”
When completed, the renovations will improve the game day experience for over 20,000 fans as well as provide affordable club seating and access to air-conditioned spaces for 8,000 fans on Saturdays.
“We are very, very excited about the renovation that has occurred here at Williams-Brice,” Tanner said. “I think it’s the biggest renovation in the history of this stadium at $22.5 million.”
These renovations will bring a new gameday experience for fans.
“From the pictures that I’ve seen and from what I’ve seen from Gamecocks Online, the renovations look really nice and look like they will add a brand-new experience for fans,” third-year sport and entertainment management student Zach Wylie said. “It adds a more luxurious part to our stadium when in the past we didn’t really have that, and now it’s nice that we can kind of get on the level of other SEC schools that did have those types of clubs.”
With South Carolina upgrading the stadium in order to reach the level of other SEC football programs, Tanner said renovations will also enhance the game day recruiting process for potential Gamecock student-athletes.
"Coach Muschamp had a lot of input in the area below and the recruiting area and where the players come in and out and the opportunity for the fan base to be engaged," Tanner said.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 20,000 allowed fans will have to wait until Sept. 26 to see the new amenities at Williams-Brice Stadium in person. Barring any unforeseen postponements, South Carolina will play host to the No. 25 Tennessee Volunteers in the opening game of the 2020 season. This game can be viewed on the SEC Network at 7:30 p.m.