The “concrete jungle” is no more.
South Carolina recently completed renovations to its Williams-Brice Stadium plaza, and the results are markedly different from the version installed more than eight decades ago.
Gone is the asphalt that dominated the area for so many years. Instead, there are newly installed green spaces, brick pathways and gates at Springs Brooks Plaza. Not to mention several burgeoning palmetto trees that will grow to full height within a few seasons.
“For 81 years, I guess it is, our fans and alumni and donors have entered this stadium the same way,” USC athletic director Ray Tanner told TheState.com‘s David Cloninger. “For the first time in many, many years, we have a different look.”
As TheState.com notes, the area around Williams-Brice has shifted from “grim” to “pleasant,” and Tanner agrees.
“Some people say it was a concrete jungle, very much of an industrial area,” Tanner said. “And it’s changed considerably.”
For the first time ever, fans can walk completely around the stadium. On the northwest side, they’ll be greeted by a statue of George Rogers. On the south side, a brick wall that will feature memorials to past Gamecocks stars.
The project cost $14.5 million to finish in time for the Gamecocks’ opener against North Carolina on Thursday night, according to TheState.com
Fans don’t need to wait until then to get a look, however. South Carolina posted a virtual tour video on YouTube this weekend. View it below:
— By Alex M. Smith, Special for The Atlanta Journal-Consitution