County Gamecock Club meeting centers on facilities upgrades

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Meeting held April 30

By Robert Howey

FORT LAWN – University of South Carolina Gamecocks’ football fans have not only seen a transformation on the field, but they can expect to see a new-look at the USC football home.

Coming off a school record 11-win season and Capital One Bowl win over Nebraska, USC is also looking at major improvements at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Gamecock Club executive director Patrick McFarland noted some of the major changes at the stadium during his presentation as guest speaker at the Lancaster County Gamecock Club meeting April 30 at the Catawba Fish Camp.

A major addition to Williams-Brice is a new video board and scoreboard in the north end zone.

The board is 36-feet high and 124 feet wide.

“It’s going to be fantastic,” McFarland said.

He noted on the sides will be a noise meter which will measure the fans’ roar on game day.

“It’s going to be interactive and we’re hoping to have it ready for the first game,” he said.

The area of the stadium is also being upgraded to eliminate much of the parking at the arena.

The new area will feature a wider concourse which will provide more area for fans on Gamecocks’ game day.

“This will allow the fans to get inside the stadium quicker to enjoy the game day experience,” McFarland said.

The parking area in what was the old Farmers Market has been renovated to allow better tailgating areas near the stadium.

He added USC is also nearing the completion of a building which will take care of the Gamecock Club offices and ticket office.

The old Roundhouse, built in the mid-1950s and housed some former athletic offices, will soon be razed.

McFarland noted during a recent track meet, some athletes from Appalachian State asked to use the facilities at the Roundhouse.

He said he could hear the athletes talking and their remarks weren’t favorable.

“I heard them talking and they were saying things like it was a dump and they expected more from a Southeastern Conference school,” McFarland.

He added he told the athletes newer, modern facilies were in the works.

Future upgrades include the Gamecocks’ practice areas for football and basketball.

“This shows the strides we’re making,” he said. “We have a right to be very exicited.”

McFarland said USC’’s new basketball coach Frank Martin, who came to the Gamecocks from Kansas State, is the man for the job.

“Coach Martin is going to do an exceptional job,” McFarland said. “I like his attitude and the fact that he’s taken the job by hitting the ground running.”

The meeting featured several drawings, including two won by Bill Moore.

Moore won the tickets for the two season tickets as well as the flower arrangement at the podium.

 The commemorative football from the 2011 season was won by USC fan Scott Walters.