The performance of the football team in Saturday’s loss to Kentucky wasn’t the only thing that put a lot of Gamecock fans in a sour mood. The home opener was plagued by off the field issues.
There were traffic issues, a brawl that reportedly was between some USC and Kentucky fans in a tailgate area, restroom and concession line problems, pre-game handshake controversy and DJ and pyrotechnic malfunctions. Oh, and a golf cart transporting some media from their parking lot to the stadium had a wreck. All in all, not what USC athletics director Ray Tanner expects from his operation, and he put pen to paper to apologize to the fans.
Thank you so much for supporting our Carolina student-athletes. Your passion for our Gamecocks is unparalleled and was never more evident than the great attendance Saturday night against Kentucky.
I have heard from many of you concerning issues about your experience on game day. You should always have an enjoyable time when you visit one of our venues, especially Williams-Brice Stadium. After meeting with my staff, contractual partners and vendors, I would like to share with you what I have learned.
Early in Saturday’s game, we began experiencing water pressure issues in the stadium, severely impacting concessions and restrooms. City of Columbia Water Works personnel were contacted and began working with university plumbers and staff to resolve the issue as soon as the low pressure was reported. After extensive investigation, the team discovered a flow issue related to a valve on an underground line outside of the stadium. The issue has been resolved and we do not anticipate it being an issue moving forward.
To help alleviate the lines at concession stands around the stadium, we have points of sale around the stadium that are just for drinks, peanuts and candy. If you are in a line at a concession stand just for these items, there are beverage portable kiosks near you that may have a shorter line. We have added even more of these portables for this week’s game.
I have received a lot of questions from you about our D.J. and the volume of the music. Modifications will be made for the next game and we hope that you can find the sound level more enjoyable. We will continue to monitor the impact of the D.J. as we move through the season and make adjustments as needed.
We invest a lot of time and effort planning to create a better atmosphere and game day experience for all of our fans. From concessions to the 2001 entrance to in-game music and videos, we want to make Williams-Brice Stadium the best place to watch a game and the toughest place for opponents to play.
Our goals are high. I want us to be the best at everything we do. When we don’t reach our goals, it is disappointing. I promise you, we will work diligently to make your visit special to watch the Gamecocks play.
We appreciate your support of Gamecock Athletics and want to hear from you when we can do better. We also want to hear you in Williams-Brice Stadium cheering on our Gamecocks.
I hope you have a great week and we will see you Saturday afternoon in Williams-Brice. Go Gamecocks!