USC Gamecocks Football

Gamecocks close to raising $30 million. Why the goal is now $40 million

South Carolina’s athletic department announced Monday it is is nearly finished with its largest fundraising effort to date, and is looking for more.

With $28 million of the $30 million goal raised, USC is looking to keep the fundraising going, changing the new target to $40 million. That extra money will cover nearly half of the $21 million improvements for Williams-Brice Stadium, which were announced in September.

The drive began to fund the Long Family Football Operations Center, which is set to be finished at the end of the year. The $50 million facility will centralize elements of the football program that had been spread between the stadium and the far side of Gamecock Park.

The changes to Williams-Brice will affect all four sides of South Carolina’s home football stadium. A $750,000 project to renovate the first floor of the Floyd Building on the north side of the stadium is projected to be completed in time for the 2019 season. A $21 million project that will add premium areas to the south, east and west sides of the stadium is expected to be completed in time for the 2020 season.

In total, the renovations are expected to create 9,000 “premium access opportunities,” athletics director Ray Tanner said in September. The athletic department expects to earn more than $1 million annually (after repaying the $1.3 million of annual debt the project will create) by selling the access to the premium areas, Tanner said.