The trickle-down effect in stadium design is evident in Phase II renovations planned for the University of South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium.
The $22.5 million renovation plans, first unveiled in September and approved by USC trustees Monday, include the field-level 2001 Club, which will provide close proximity for patrons wishing watch players as they pass on their way to the playing field. The amenity will function much like the one at AT&T Stadium, which opened as home of the Dallas Cowboys in 2009. The club will be enclosed by a new 132-seat loge section.
"This is an opportunity, and it's not $350 million, but we're spending $22.5 million, and it's going to be impactful," athletics director Ray Tanner said, as reported by The Post and Currier of Charleston. "You guys know the trends. It's not 100,000 seats anymore, it's the amenities you have, the opportunities for your fan base."
Renovations also will be made to the Crews Football Facility, transforming its weight room into a dining room for recruits, and its upper level into a luxury club-level fan space. In addition, south end zone amenities will be improved, and club areas will be added to the east and west stands. The work is scheduled to begin immediately following the 2019 season, with completion coming in time for the start of the 2020 season. "It's an ambitious project in a short period of time," Tanner said. "There's a lot that goes on to improve this space."
According to The Post and Currier, USC had to spend the $22.5 million now to improve Williams-Brice since its debt ceiling (currently around $194 million) can’t be increased until 2038. Short of tearing down one section of the stadium and starting over, the renovations are nearly all the Gamecocks can do to improve the game day experience.