South Carolina is in the midst of a major facilities overhaul that would bring the Gamecocks up to speed with the rest of their SEC brethren - not to mention their neighbors two hours to the west - according to a report from The State.
Projects completed in time for the 2015 season include a plaza surrounding Williams-Brice Stadium and a new indoor practice facility, but athletics director Ray Tanner says that's just the start of his department's plans. “Participating doesn’t work for me,” Tanner told the paper. “We want to compete at a very high level. While we’ve had great success here, I believe there’s opportunity across the board in all of our sports to elevate the success that we could have.”
South Carolina would like to add two projects to the docket, one that would up the Gamecocks' revenue and another that would greatly improve the functionality and sidewalk appeal for the football program.
First, the department is in discussions about adding suites to the east side of Williams-Brice Stadium, a standard for every modern stadium. “According to the configuration you do, we looked at the possibility of three club areas and around 20 suites,” Tanner said. “If we do the suite addition on the East side, as far as seats are concerned, I think it was only a loss of 600 seats.”
“It’s a revenue-generator,” added chief operating officer Kevin O’Connell. “Premium seating in college football is very desirable, because that’s where the demand is. It’s not stadium expansion, it’s premium seating and the amenities that go with it.”
Next, South Carolina would like to construct a football operations building to be paired with its new indoor. Presently, Gamecocks coaches office out of Floyd Football Building on the north end of Williams-Brice, separated from the players' weight, meeting and lounge areas. A new football building would also eliminate the need for the entire football program to cross a city street just to get to practice.
“We’ll continually try to upgrade for all the sports to allow our student-athletes to be competitive at high levels,” Tanner said. “This is important to our student-athletes. Resources, facilities, we have a great group of coaches. We have a tremendous fan base. All those things are important.”