The University of South Carolina is making an addition at Williams-Brice Stadium for the 2018 season, but, to be honest, it’s a boring one. Gamecocks fans will see a new concession stand on the stadium’s East end when the new season begins.
“We’re trying to alleviate some traffic over there,” Gamecocks athletics director Ray Tanner said.
That’s nice, but also ... yawn.
That’s just the 2018 season, though. In 2019, after South Carolina’s football coaches move from the Floyd Football Building to the new $50 million football operations center, things could get interesting.
Tanner again: “As football moves over to the football operations center, we hope to convert some space for future amenities.”
Future amenities? That’s exciting. “Future amenities” could be anything. “Future amenities” could mean a waterslide or a carousel where all the animals are fighting chickens. It could mean a Pregame Will Muschamp Dunking Booth or the Steve Spurrier Storytime Amphitheater.
South Carolina officials declined to discuss what the actual plans for that space might be.
“It would be premature to go on record about anything that may be done with the space that will become available once football transitions to its new facility,” a school spokesman wrote.
That leaves the ideas up to us, folks.
South Carolina’s coaches now occupy a three-story structure that sits behind the student section at the stadium’s north end zone. Head coach Will Muschamp’s office on the top floor is visible from the field and has an outdoor deck from which the game can be viewed.
So, with that space available in two seasons, what could South Carolina add that would mean the most for Gamecocks fans?
How about a sports bar and restaurant? The SEC is allowing schools to experiment with selling alcohol at certain contained locations on game days, so South Carolina could open something along the lines of The 72 Club at Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Miami Hurricanes and Miami Dolphins.
The Minnesota Vikings have the Viking Voyage, which includes free, interactive experiences for fans.
There are plenty of interesting things South Carolina could do with enough money, but it feels like the most likely outcome is the space will be used as premium seating and game day amenities for the school’s top donors.
Bring on the waterslide.