A photo of Williams-Brice Stadium. (Photo by Ariel Meriwether/Carolina News and Reporter)
More than 17,000 student ticket requests have been fulfilled for this Saturday’s game – the most tickets that USC has ever handed out.
That far exceeds the usual 13,000-seat limit of the student section.
So how can there be more?
Roughly 4,000 students were given tickets outside the student section for the game between Furman and the University of South Carolina.
Those regular-seating spots might be among the most coveted for a student.
That’s because alcoholic beverages can be sold to students over the age of 21 as long as they aren’t seated in one of the 9,100 seats in Williams-Brice Stadium’s lower level student section.
Binge drinking on gamedays has been a problem in the past to the point where it put a strain on local medical services, according to The State newspaper.
So, while students will be seated in sections with access to alcoholic beverages, many security protocols are in place, including security teams monitoring traffic, weather and fan behavior, said Anna Edwards, USC associate vice president for student life.
“Everybody is on camera in the stadium,” Edwards said. “A couple of years ago, we had students throw water bottles on the field during the Clemson game, and we were able to pinpoint who threw the bottle.”
Interest in other sporting events has been high this year, Edwards said.
Earlier this semester, there were so many student tickets sold to a volleyball game that there was nowhere for fans who purchased a ticket to sit, according to Billy Picou, an intern in the ticketing office.
Edwards said she doesn’t anticipate any ticketing issues at Williams-Brice this year.
“We have, I think, mastered the allocation of tickets,” Edwards said. “We do not over-allocate. … We get exactly the number of seats in the stadium.”
Kickoff for the first home game will be at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re preparing like it’s going to be a sold out crowd,” Picou said.
As of Thursday morning, calculations were that the stadium will be filled with a sold out crowd, according to an Instagram post from Gamecock Athletics.
Edwards advises students to check their ticket before waiting in line at the student gate.
“Only students with a lower-level student section ticket can use the student gate,” she said. “All other students can use any other gate throughout the stadium.”
Here are some more tips for the first game of the season, according to Gamecocks Online:
– Arriving early allows fans to use the game day shuttle system.
– Downloading a ticket beforehand ensures it won’t hold people up at the gate.
– Downloading a digital map helps find nearby amenities. The map also can be accessed through the South Carolina Gamecocks mobile app.
– Hydrating at the WaterMonster water refill stations is free and helps everyone stay hydrated.
– Remember that all purchases, including concessions, made within the stadium are still required to be cashless.
ABOUT THE JOURNALISTS
Evans is a pre-law Honors College junior majoring in journalism at the University of South Carolina. She is interested in science journalism. She received a grant to research sourcing patterns in major newspapers’ COVID coverage.
Meriwether is a multi-media journalism student at the University of South Carolina. She enjoys covering arts and culture. She hopes to use her degree to create organic social content and tell personal stories. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.