South Carolina Athletics appreciates its loyal fans and wants to make sure that their continued support of the Gamecocks is properly rewarded. In order to ensure fairness in parking for South Carolina home football games, the Gamecock Club announced plans this week to re-park all of its reserved parking lots for the 2018 season, and will plan to continue re-parking regularly with another re-park scheduled for 2023.
"Your loyalty does count," said Athletics Director Ray Tanner. "This ensures that we're being fair to our donors for their long-standing support. We assign parking based on total Gamecock Club priority points, regardless of giving level, and we see that as a great way to say `thanks' to our thousands of loyal fans that have been here for decades. This is an opportunity to make an important change at a time that really makes sense considering the recent alterations to our parking landscape."
Tanner's nod to timing eludes to the construction of the new Football Operations Center. Scheduled to open towards the end of the 2018 season, this facility's construction has caused the elimination of a significant amount of parking in Gamecock Park. Re-parking the reserved lots is necessary to maximize available space and to better accommodate those that lost parking. Moreover, establishing a plan to re-park in coming years will allow the department to try to avoid such inconveniences in the future, but still move forward with strategic projects and initiatives.
"In order to accurately reflect loyalty and appreciation for our donors, we need to make sure there is an opportunity for the `deck' to be appropriately re-shuffled," said Steve Eigenbrot, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development & the Gamecock Club.
"Right now, our parking is a snapshot of Gamecock Club priority point totals from people's accounts back in 2012, which was when we first opened Gamecock Park, and a lot has happened since 2012. For the priority point snapshot to reflect a time in which many folks had yet to see Gamecock Park is not fair, and it would continue to get worse as time progressed. The further away you get from that snapshot point in time, the more inaccurate it is in terms of being a presentation of donor priority."
"The majority of schools in our conference and our region have regularly scheduled re-parking," added Patrick McFarland, Executive Director of the Gamecock Club. "Some do it annually, and some do it every other year."
The Gamecock Club will also soon be announcing a loyalty program for its members which will allow them to collect more membership points without altering their current membership plan.
"We'll be awarding additional points to our members based on their consecutive years of membership," McFarland said. "Our goal is to send this out as a sign of appreciation. It's a way of thanking members for their long-standing support."
All season parking pass holders will be required to select parking for the 2018 season at an assigned time in July, and those times will be assigned based on Gamecock Club priority point total. Not participating in the selection process may result in a lack of season parking availability.
It should be noted that as the 2018 parking selections are completed, pass holders will have first right of refusal to renew their spaces for the following four seasons as long as they remain members of the Gamecock Club without interruption, pay for the spaces by the announced deadline, and continue to purchase the appropriate number of season tickets (one parking pass for every four season tickets purchased).
After the 2018 parking selection process is completed, the next scheduled re-parking is scheduled to occur before the 2023 football season.
For more information, check out the list of Frequently Asked Questions or call the Athletics Ticket Office at 803.777.4274.