The University of South Carolina announced Tuesday afternoon the start of the process on a potential billion dollar development project on University owned land near Williams-Brice Stadium and near the Colonial Life Arena. The University submitted a formal Request for Information (RFI) for the development of more than 800 acres of property. The University is seeking developers from across the country who would take part in the project through a comprehensive land use agreement with the University.
University officials would like to see the property developed to further enhance the fan experience at those venues. This initial RFI will allow the University to determine the potential for the project as well as identify potential development partners. An agreement could also generate private funding for improvements to Williams-Brice allowing for the expansion of the venue’s use for other public events in addition to football games.
“We believe this could be a game changer for our university,” said South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner said in a release. “These projects are envisioned to create a fan experience second-to-none in college athletics. We are also looking at expanding the variety of events and opportunities these enhancements can bring, which will positively impact the local community.”
Phase one would focus on the football stadium and property situated adjacent with the Congaree River, west of the Long Family Football Operations Facility. Phase two would shift the focus to the basketball arena and 17 acres adjacent to the CLA, west of Park Street.
The project would also include further enhancements to Williams-Brice which currently has the second fewest luxury suites of any SEC stadium. The project does not include the University buying the State Fair Grounds across the street from Williams-Brice which has been a popular rumor among Gamecock fans.
Results from the RFI are due back at the beginning of March, and those results will provide the University with the information needed to make decisions on the project moving forward.
Ed Walton, USC’s Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, said the potential for forging a business partnership would allow for significant revenue generation without burdening students or taxpayers.
“We have a once in a generation opportunity to move forward on needed facility improvements through a partnership that doesn’t require public financing,” Walton said. “We intend to develop a project and select a partner who has a strong track record of creating commercial projects that benefit the entire community through job creation and new businesses that will make Columbia and the Midlands more vibrant than ever.”
The University has established a website for information on the project: