The ninth-ranked University of South Carolina football team will open the home portion of its schedule on Saturday when the Gamecocks (1-0, 1-0 SEC) host the East Carolina Pirates (1-0, 0-0 C-USA). Game time is set for 12:21 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The game will be televised regionally by the SEC Network with Dave Neal, Andre Ware and Cara Capuano describing the action.
Fans attending Carolina home games this season are encouraged to arrive early to avoid the normal game day traffic congestion around the stadium.
All parking lots, including the former Farmers Market, the Fairgrounds, ETV, Capital City Stadium and National Guard Armory, will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Game day parking will be available in the Fairgrounds for $40 per space while a limited number of spaces will also be available in the back of the former Farmers Market. Again this season, gas grilling is permitted in the parking lots but charcoal grilling is prohibited.
The Gamecocks' new parking facility, located on the former Farmers Market site, will be open for the 2012 football season. This exciting, $30.5 million project includes shaded tent zones, cable TV hookups, electrical outlets, and permanent restrooms. The central open space, called the Garnet Way, is a grassy promenade lined with scarlet oaks and provides a route for the marching band, cheerleaders, and football team to parade through the venue on the way to the stadium. The Gamecock Walk will take place around 10 a.m. on Saturday. Once the team has completed its walk, the entire band will parade the full length of the Garnet Way, ending with a high-energy pep rally featuring the spirit squads.
Also located across from Williams-Brice Stadium along Bluff Road, the Lexington Medical Center Gamecock Village will open four hours prior to kickoff. Attractions will include live music, photo opportunities with Cocky, a spacious merchandise location, kids' inflatable games, interactive sponsor displays, a TV viewing area to watch other games of interest, and the live pregame radio show on the IMG College Gamecock Radio Network.
Beginning with the 2012 season, public safety will be enforcing the NO PARKING zones in the following areas prior to and during home football games:
-Key Road between the railroad tracks and Idlewide Blvd.
-South Stadium Road
-National Guard Road between Bluff Road and the last entrance into the old Farmers Market
-Shop Road between George Rogers Blvd. and Idlewide Blvd.
-Hemlock Road between Bluff Road and Oakdale Street
The NO PARKING zones will be enforced by a combination of parking enforcement officers, City of Columbia police officers and Richland County deputies. If a vehicle is towed from one of these areas, the owner will need to check with the agency responsible for enforcement in that area in order to retrieve the vehicle.
Once inside the stadium, fans' in-game experience will be enhanced by a new $6.5 million high-definition videoboard, located above the north end zone stands. The videoboard measures 36' x 124' feet, the third largest in the SEC.
Fans are asked to report any stadium issues, unruly behavior, or requests for help by texting: "USC" issue and location to 69050. Assistance is available two hours before kickoff and one hour after the game (Standard SMS rates apply). For non-emergency post game concerns please call 803-777-7784 and leave a voice message along with your name and number to voice any complaints, issues or suggestions in regards to the game day environment.
Approximately 4,000 tickets, priced at $40 each, remain on sale for the home opener. Tickets can be purchased online at www.gamecocksonline.com or at the Athletics Department ticket office, located in Colonial Life Arena.
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