May 9, 2017
By Brad Muller | More Features
Teacher Appreciation Day returns to Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, October 28, when South Carolina football hosts Vanderbilt during Homecoming Weekend. This is the third straight year that South Carolina will honor educators by offering discounted tickets to teachers, school staff, and their families.
“We did it last year and it was absolutely incredible,” said Sabrina Williams, who was a finalist for Teacher of the Year in South Carolina last year and was recognized on the field during the Teacher Appreciation game for her work at Fulmer Middle School in Lexington District 2. “I love USC. I graduated from USC, my dad graduated from there, as well as my husband and daughter. I could not have been more thrilled. To stand on the field and represent the teachers of South Carolina, I couldn’t have imagined anything more wonderful in my wildest dreams.”
For added convenience, the web site for purchasing the tickets is also social media friendly and allows for multiple buyers to get seats together.
“One of the neat things about the site is that you can socially share that you are going to the game, and you can invite your friends,” said Dan Stahl, General Manager of IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions for South Carolina Athletics. “If you invite your friends through your link, we can guarantee that they will be able to sit with you because there is a cool algorithm that performs after the sales and makes sure that anyone who was invited by someone else will get seats together.”
“We’re definitely going to want to sit with our friends,” Williams said. “That will make it a lot more fun. I mean, the games are fun anyway, but that will make it just fantastic!”
Any time you can honor the teachers of the state, it sends a powerful message to everybody. It lets the teachers know that what they are doing is valued.
Teachers can purchase tickets beginning this week for only $25 apiece, a savings of $20 per ticket, and the educators do not have to be members of the Gamecock Club to buy the tickets.
“We want to give back to the teachers who are providing the education to our youth,” Stahl said. “We’re an academic institution, and we have student-athletes. It’s an important endeavor for our athletics department to give back to them. So the way we can do that is offer their friends and family a way to come out to the football games.
“This year we are able to get them the discount at a conference game, which is also homecoming, so it’s also a nice way for teachers who are alumni to be able to come back.”
As in previous years, the teachers will be recognized during the game.
“We’ll have a teacher-specific rally towel for them, and we will also have some recognition on the video board like we did last year,” Stahl said. “We’ll pan the cameras around to the teacher sections of the stadium to recognize them as well.”
The response for Teacher Appreciation Day has been tremendous in each of the first two years.
“In year one, we sold a little over 700 tickets for teachers, and last year we sold over 2,200 tickets,” Stahl said. “This year we’re hoping to sell over 3,000. It should be a really good crowd.”
“I think it’s magnificent,” Williams said. “Any time you can honor the teachers of the state, it sends a powerful message to everybody. It lets the teachers know that what they are doing is valued, and the University has an opportunity to showcase the teachers in the state. I know the teachers are grateful that the University of South Carolina is providing this.”
While the ticket sales for Teacher Appreciation Day are focused on educators in South Carolina, Stahl noted that they will open sales to teachers and school staff in neighboring states who are willing to come to Columbia for the game.
To purchase tickets for Teacher Appreciation Day, please click here.
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