Originally named Carolina Stadium, the earliest phase was built with federal Works Progress Administration funds, and title transferred to the University by the City of Columbia with the understanding that the University assume the remaining debt.
Renovation was begun in 1970 with the addition of astroturf and 14,456 seats; phase two of the renovation was completed in 1972 with additional seating bringing the capacity to 53,865. Other additions included a President's Council Lounge and Scholarship Donors Lounge. Since that time, the following facilities have been constructed under the west stands: weight-lifting rooms, two handball courts, offensive and defensive auditorium, football coaches' offices, Hall of Captains, Hall of Teams, Hall of Bowl Teams, meeting rooms, and the Block "C" Lounge. The east stands were completed in 1982, bringing capacity to 72,400, thus making it the 17th largest home field in college football.
The l970s renovation was made possible partly by a gift of $2.75 million from the estate of the late Mrs. Martha Williams Brice of Sumter, and at the completion of the renovation the facility was rededicated as Williams-Brice Stadium as a memorial to Mrs. Brice and her husband, Thomas H. Brice (Class of 1926 Law); and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. O.L. Williams. While at Carolina, Brice was a football letterman, 1922-23. (See also Williams-Brice College of Nursing.)
New Addition to Draw Nearly 80,000
Home to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks is the spacious and attractive Williams-Brice Stadium. It's recognized as one of college football's most exciting and colorful stadiums.
Williams-Brice Stadium's capacity is 80,000 and during the past six seasons, the Gamecocks have drawn more than three million fans. Carolina annually ranks among the nation's leaders in home attendance. In 1994, the Gamecocks averaged 70,471 fans per home contest to rank 12th in the nation. Once again, the Southeastern Conference led the country in total attendance with more than 4.9 million fans attending conference games.
Williams-Brice Stadium underwent extensive renovations and improvements in 1995/1996. A $9.9 million construction project on the stadium's west side, which included executive boxes, club seats and a new press box, is now in place. A $1.86 million football office complex in the north end zone. A state-of-the-art video production facility is also in that complex.
Williams-Brice Stadium, formerly Carolina Stadium, was first constructed in 1934 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Then it seated 17,600. It has undergone a number of expansions and revisions over the years, with the largest - prior to 1982 - coming in 1971-72. A bequest from the estate of Mrs. Martha Williams Brice helped boost the capacity from slightly more than 43,000 to more than 54,000.
Mrs. Brice's husband, Thomas H. Brice, was a Gamecock football letterman, 1922-24, and her family operated the Williams Furniture Company in Sumter. She left a substantial inheritance from the Williams Furniture fortune to her nephews, Thomas W. and Phillip L. Edwards, much of which they passed on to the University of South Carolina. That included a bequest for the stadium project.
The name was officially changed from Carolina Stadium to Williams-Brice Stadium in dedication ceremonies during the Sept. 9, 1972, opener with Virginia. However, things have not completely remained the same around the stadium. Eleven years ago, master grower Sarge Frye returned natural turf to the field and two summers ago, the field was completely resodded with Bermuda grass.
Through the years, improvements have also been made in the form of new locker rooms, weight room expansion, refurbishing of training and meeting room areas, the construction of two racquet ball courts and a Hall of Captains.
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf
A Telecommunications Device for the Deaf is located for your convenience at the first aid station on the West Side Main Level. Information on how to use the device can be found at that location.
Rest rooms for men and women are located throughout the stadium on most levels. Rest rooms are not located on the lower West side of the stadium.
Public Address System
The public address system will be used only in case of grave emergency. For emergency announcements, go to the first aid station near gate 3, gate 11 or near section 305, and the attendant there will telephone your message to the public address announcer.
All stadium exits will be opened after the game. Please do not leave the stadium during the game or at halftime if you plan to re-enter. No "pass out" tickets will be issued, and once a person leaves the stadium, he or she will not be permitted to re-enter except in extreme emergency. In such cases, go to the employee pass gate at the Northwest corner of the stadium.
Concessions are sold at locations throughout the stadium and by vendors in the stands. Fans are encouraged to come to the concession stands to pick up refreshments for their parties.
Souvenirs are located at two stands by the ramps under the West stands and at various other points in the stadium.
Medical facilities, equipped and staffed as limited first-aid treatment stations, are located for convenient access at all stadium areas. If assistance is needed, contact the nearest usher for directions to the nearest first-aid facility.
Upon leaving the stadium, we ask your full cooperation with the Highway Patrol in the effort to speed the flow of traffic from the stadium. And, on the way home, please drive carefully as the highways will be congested with weekend crowds.
Lost and Found
Lost and found, for Williams-Brice Stadium only, will be at the Athletic Ticket Office on Rosewood Drive on the Monday following home games between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. The phone number is (803) 777-4274.
A $13.5 million South end zone expansion project has been completed ahead of schedule and debuted at the 1996 season opener. The project features 7,600 additional seats, including 1,600 premium club seats located "In the Zone" bringing stadium capacity to more than 80,000 for this season.
Only thirteen college football stadiums can accommodate more spectators. Six of these stadiums are home to teams in the SEC: Tennessee's Neyland (102,504), Georgia's Sanford (86,117), Auburn's Jordan-Hare (85,214), Alabama's Legion Field (83,091) and Florida's Ben Griffin (85,134).
One of the most unique aspects of the South end zone expansion is the large meeting and banquet hall which is located behind the premium club seating area. This 11,500-square-foot hall will comfortably accommodate 1,100 for receptions, more than 800 for banquets and up to 600 for lectures.
There is ample parking and the convenient use of elevators and the state's longest escalator, which is featured in the South end zone addition. Another highlight is the availability of sophisticated technical services, including television monitors in all meeting and banquet rooms and use of the new state-of-the-art programmable scoreboard visible from most meeting and banquet areas.
The upper deck is closer to the field than either of the other two decks. Also, there is a direct view of the new scoreboard." The South end zone is the newest part of USC's massive stadium expansion project, which includes a $9.9 million expansion to the West side completed in 1995. The seats make up the front rows of the new deck, with sight lines just 95 feet from the goal line. The remainder of the deck are regular seats.
Club level amenities include a covered escalator and elevator access to the seats; a temperature-controlled lounge behind the seating area; closed-circuit television monitors with instant replays, catered food service in the lounge; exclusive rest room facilities; and private storage lockers.
Over the past two years, Williams-Brice Stadium has undergone extensive renovations and additions. These enhancements have elevated Williams-Brice Stadium to the top echelon among college stadiums.
Source: University of South Carolina Sports Information Office
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
September 28, 2006 - Located on the south side of Columbia, South Carolina, Williams Brice Stadium has all the look and feel of an NFL stadium – large, fortress like, large banks of lighting trellised high above the upper deck. And - unlike most big time college stadiums, this venue is not nestled among ivy covered college buildings, nor is the campus interspersed amidst a trendy urban downtown setting. Rather, Williams Brice Stadium sits adjoining an expansive industrial, warehouse and light manufacturing district, for the most part. The South Carolina fairgrounds are also nearby.
Sounds kind of yucky, eh?!
Hardly! The neighborhood around this stadium offers a unique setting of the college venues we’ve visited thus far, and the game day experience fully takes advantage of what the adjoining area has to offer to make a day here extraordinary.
Some facts on the stadium – like many of its peer venues, the stadium opened in 1934 as a 30,000 seat venue and underwent numerous expansions and renovations over the decades to bring it to its current capacity of 80,250. The west side of the stadium is the most modern, with its suite level and club seating, modern pressbox facilities and wide concourses. The community has responded well to filling those seats, snapping up over 62,000 season tickets and sellouts are the norm.
Back to the neighborhood – many of the warehouses and businesses on adjoining streets make full use of their facilities, hosting tailgates and parties on their loading docks. Across the street from the stadium is a massive farmers market, rows of canopied stands where produce and nursery items are bought and sold, and tailgaters pull in among the vendors’ stalls to set up their parties. Amidst all this, new residential development is taking root, with a couple midrise condos recently opened and another old loading dock building undergoing loft conversion.
Then there are the Cockabooses. Located on the south side of the stadium, a string of old railroad cars are parked in a row and have been renovated and upgraded as tailgate suites complete with upper deck viewing areas. The Cockabooses now command prices well over $200K, and are only used on gamedays. We also stumbled across a “luxury tailgate” lot, basically a gated parking lot, where for $21,500 and up, you can purchase your own parking space for exclusive tailgate use. And yes, you can finance your purchase with a 15 year mortgage. This is all out of control!
One thing lacking are bars, bistros, places to catch a beer or a bite, but the tailgate scene more than makes up for it. People here come early and stay late and party it up with the best of them.
The game intro is something not to be missed. After doing their pre game routine, the school band lines up near the entrance tunnel, jumping up and down and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. The team races onto the field to the melody of Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001: A Space Odyssey theme). It is one of those goose bump moments in college football.
We add one more thing here, something we don’t normally give much credence to. South Carolina girls are beautiful! The girls here don’t wear grungy A&F or Old Navy clothing, but dress for football games in elegant sundresses or sleek back party dresses. Sort of like the old southern belles. We were told this is an SEC thing, not just unique to South Carolina, but guys… trust us when we tell you that you won’t be disappointed in the quality of the girls here!
Quick game report… On this night, the Gamecocks gave nationally ranked Auburn a run for their money but fell just short, losing 24-17 as a furious final drive ended with a fourth down incompletion in the end zone. Another interesting stat – the South Carolina offense never touched the ball in the third quarter. Auburn took the kickoff on a long drive for a field goal, then executed a successful onside kick, and proceeded on yet another long march to eat up the clock. Amazing!
SOUTH CAROLINA EXPECTS REVENUE INCREASE
June 18, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Columbia, S.C. - The University of South Carolina expects declines in football ticket sales and
booster club funds to be offset by an increase in revenue from its seat donation program.
Athletic director Eric Hyman told a committee of the board of trustees the school's seat fee plan
has raised $6.3 million, higher than the $4 million projected. Those funds will offset an expected
loss in football season-ticket revenue of $1.8 million and nearly $1 million in Gamecock Club
Hyman says the Gamecocks have sold about 49,000 season tickets for football, down from their
cap of 56,000.
Also, the school will pay out more than $1.2 million in guarantees to home football opponents
this season, including $800,000 to Florida Atlantic.
SOUTH CAROLINA BEGINS WORK ON LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT
February 4, 2010
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
Columbia, S.C. - Construction bids will go out in the coming weeks on three projects that will
continue to transform the outdated, 1960s-era Roost area at the University of South Carolina into a modern athletics village.
And though the recession has slowed the athletics department's first capital campaign, athletic director Eric Hyman is moving forward with his $200 million plan.
Demolition work has begun in the area around the $13 million academic center, known as "The Dodie" after Dodie Anderson, the Greer benefactor who donated $5 million to $6 million for the construction.
Workers have ripped out the stands, fences and nets at the men's tennis courts to make way for an $8.8 million, 368-space parking garage. A $19 million athletics administration/coaches support building will go up adjacent to the academic center, while a $4.6 million tennis facility will be built on the former site of Sarge Frye Field.
The parking deck should be done by the end of the year, while the tennis facility is slated to open for the 2011 spring season after the men's and women's teams share the Maxcy Gregg courts this year.
USC coaches and administrators hope to move into their offices in the fall of 2011.
USC expects to spend $16.6 million on infrastructure for the next phase of the redeveloped Roost area, a 41-acre tract where officials also hope to build a basketball practice facility and a spring sports training facility, and to renovate the stadiums for track and softball.
Fundraising could dictate the timetable for the latter projects. The current projects will take USC's debt level to $130 million in revenue bonds - below the school's $200 million ceiling but pushing the limits of Hyman's "comfort zone."
The facilities projects will extend beyond the Roost area.
USC has an agreement to take over the Farmers Market for $15 million on July 1, which will leave officials little time to do much with the site before football season.
Hyman plans to level the buildings that housed produce stands and Christmas tree vendors and build an open, tree-lined parking oasis modeled after Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Ky., and the Grove on Mississippi's campus.
Hyman would like Williams-Brice Stadium to feel more like a campus setting than a blacktop-paved, industrial area. He envisions a space that would accommodate USC's band, an enhanced Gamecock Walk when the team arrives at the stadium and "an area where you can throw a Frisbee and a football before the game."
Hyman eventually would like to move most of the parking away from the stadium to improve pedestrian safety and aesthetics.
Long-range possibilities around the stadium include an indoor practice field on the Farmers Market site, a renovated entrance to the locker room, a new videoboard and the relocation of the coaches' offices to the Crews Building that houses the weight room and team meeting rooms.
There is no immediate talk of expanding the stadium, although USC will spend $3.1 million to renovate the 18 suites on the 200 and 600 levels this offseason.