In a major step towards returning to a sense of normalcy in college athletics, the University of South Carolina announced on Tuesday that capacity at Founders Park for this weekend’s series against Tennessee will be at 100%.
“In working with our medical task force they have advised our department that it is not necessary to cut back on stadium attendance at this weekend’s baseball series,” USC athletics director Ray Tanner stated in a release detailing the new policy. “We look forward to having Founders Park full of Gamecock fans for this important SEC series.”
USC head baseball coach Mark Kingston was hopeful that his team would be able to play in front of a sold out ball park this weekend, but wasn’t sure that would be approved by the Gamecock administration when he joined SportsTalk on Monday night.
“I think they are working on it, but I have not heard anything definitive yet at this point.”
Fans will also be allowed to resume normal tailgating activities around the stadium with no COVID-related restrictions, according to the school. Sale of series tickets will begin on Wednesday morning at 9am. Baseball season ticket holders will be given the first opportunity to purchase Wednesday morning until 11am.
The series between the 21st ranked Gamecocks and 5th ranked Volunteers starts on Thursday at 7pm with Friday’s game set for seven o’clock as well. The three-game set will wrap up Saturday at twelve noon.
Kingston says despite Tennessee’s lofty rankings and position atop the SEC East standings, the two teams aren’t that dissimilar.
“What I think is interesting for the people that do their homework and the people that really dig into everybody’s schedule. The SEC common opponents between them and us, we have the exact same records,” Kingston said. “I think it should be a really good series.”