USC Gamecocks Football

USC encourages football fans to release hotel rooms for storm evacuees

The University of South Carolina will resume normal operations on Sunday.
The University of South Carolina will resume normal operations on Sunday. tglantz@thestate.com

As South Carolina prepares to face Georgia at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in football, the university remains closed and school officials are encouraging fans to give up hotel rooms so they can be used by Hurricane Matthew evacuees.

“The university encourages Gamecock fans that do not need their previously reserved hotel rooms to contact your hotel and release your reservations,” USC said in a statement. “We also encourage hoteliers to be flexible with their standard two-night minimum in order to help accommodate both hurricane evacuees and fans.”

The Gamecocks (2-3 overall, 1-3 SEC) and Bulldogs (3-2, 1-2 SEC) will play a day later than expected. The game will be televised on SEC Network.

“Due to the potential impact of the hurricane on Columbia and the surrounding area, it is in the best interest of safety to play the game on Sunday rather than Saturday night,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. “I appreciate the cooperation of the schools who worked closely to make the appropriate operational adjustments in order to accommodate this change in the schedule.”

The university will resume normal operations on Sunday.

In a statement, USC said: “We have been and continue to be in communication with the Governor’s Office and state officials, state and local law enforcement agencies including the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the National Weather Service, other local authorities and the SEC regarding potential weather issues. Based on the current forecast and expected weather conditions as well as information from local law enforcement agencies, at this time, the University is confident in our ability to host the game on Sunday at Williams-Brice Stadium.

We will be able to staff traffic, security and other game day operations. The safety of everyone affected by the storm and the minimization of the impact on emergency personnel were the most important factors considered in making the decision.”

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