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Patio house, new lights and sound coming to Williams-Brice for 2022 season | South Carolina



COLUMBIA — The scaffolding started quickly after the brand new yr, the electronics and audio shall be put in afterward. There’s a bucket of paint to throw round or signage to be posted after each soccer season, however this yr, enhancements at Williams-Brice Stadium will proceed to observe the buzzwords that outlined the final spherical of renovations.

“If you look around the athletics department the last 5-10 years, we’ve done a lot to improve our facilities, we’ve done a lot to improve the student-athlete experience,” Executive Associate AD/Administration Chris Rogers stated. “The things we’re doing now are all about our want and need to improve our fan experience.”

The final main spherical of building transformed lots of the stadium’s seats into extra premium seat places and membership house, giving patrons extra choices on the place within the stadium to benefit from the recreation. Yet these have been for a choose variety of followers.

These enhancements, that are on schedule to be accomplished earlier than the Sept. 3 season opener, profit the remaining.

“We have a great home for football, but there are things that can be done to help modernize the stadium to create more excitement and a better fan experience,” athletics director Ray Tanner stated in a college launch. “When you consider we just did the largest stadium renovation ever in 2020 and now we are tackling ribbon boards, stadium lights, concourse expansion and new elevators, it’s starting to make a big difference.”

Ribbon boards have lengthy been on the docket and can coincide with new LED stadium lights (Light-Emitting Diode), a brand new sound system and a revitalized West concourse and new elevator financial institution. The concourse and elevators will value an estimated $5.7 million.

West stands patio

Drive by Williams-Brice as we speak and you’ll see the helps and momentary rails for the brand new open-air areas on the West concourse. They’ll give extra of a patio really feel for followers who wish to take a look at Gamecock Park earlier than the sport or throughout halftime.

That, and the additional spacing on the precise concourse, will increase pedestrian movement and opens up extra concession factors of sale to alleviate strains at present stands.

“We needed to increase square footage of the actual main concourse,” Rogers stated. “The switchbacks, where people go into the ramps, we’re taking the concessions area in front of that and changing the configuration, so it’s more of a walk-through.”

Once the patio areas are performed, USC will determine if it would depart it as an area to face and get some air, or add furnishings and umbrellas for a extra lounge-like really feel.

Going up

The three elevators at the moment on the West facet of Williams-Brice have been serviceable since their set up, however issues all the time come up on the finish of video games. That complete facet of the stadium, from the press field down, patronizes these elevators and the waits after video games are sometimes lengthy.

Throw in that coaches have to make use of the identical elevators to get to the bottom with 5 minutes left within the fourth quarter and one elevator is held for them; and catering and concessions use the identical elevator financial institution all through the sport, and it’s been an issue for years. The stairs are all the time there, however strolling down eight tales’ value of cement steps isn’t universally conducive.

Extremely loud and extremely shut

“Right now, our audio is one speaker system, under the videoboard,” Rogers stated. “Now the speakers will be all throughout the stadium.”

The new system may even get rid of the echo impact one will get if sitting within the South stands, reverse the videoboard. That and the brand new ribbon boards which can stretch across the discipline will assist enhance graphics and fan interplay, which ties in with the lights.

The former lights have been all the time an issue for TV broadcasts, and the brand new LED lights will assist with that. They illuminate the sphere however may also be lit in several colours.

That turns out to be useful when, say, it’s time to play “Sandstorm.” The lights might be synchronized with the ribbon boards to flash on and off in a sample and the followers can play together with their cellphone lights, as they do at Colonial Life Arena.

The tides have shifted in school soccer, the place earlier than, it was about what number of seats a stadium can boast and now, it’s about how comfy are you able to make the house you’ve gotten, even when capability lessens. “A better gameday experience” is the way it’s marketed.

The greatest gameday expertise is when your workforce wins, however with out having the ability to inform the long run, USC is bettering the house discipline and betting on the house workforce to observe.

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