The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is home to some of the top teams in college football, and the South Carolina Gamecocks are a big part of that family. While they’re not as recognized as the Florida Gators, LSU Tigers, or the Alabama Crimson Tide, they are still considered a staple of southern athletics. Football fans in South Carolina are split between South Carolina University and Clemson University, as both are frequently ranked as top football teams.
The Gamecocks, with a large costumed rooster named Cocky for a mascot, play at the 80,000-seat Williams-Brice Stadium. The stadium, known as the “Cock Pit” to fans, can be expanded, as happened against the University of Georgia when 85,000 fans showed up. Williams-Brice Stadium is a historic landmark that was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1934, thanks to President Roosevelt’s New Deal plan. On days when the crowd is particularly amped, the stadium vibrates from the high decibel levels.
The Gamecocks are not one-trick roosters; they are competitive in several collegiate sports, such as baseball, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball. Football gameday festivities, however, is where the fun starts for many fans. Pack your bags, fill up your tank, and drive your RV to the University of South Carolina, where RVs are welcome.
Unlike other teams in the SEC, the University of South Carolina offers fair pricing for single-game tickets. If you prefer, you can also purchase a mini-plan, which grants you access to two or three pre-selected games throughout the season. In recent years, single-game tickets have sold for an average of $75, but tickets can be as low as $25 to $40. Tickets to other sporting events are typically a bit less.
The University of South Carolina is located in the center of South Carolina in the City of Columbia, not to be confused with Columbia, Missouri, the home of the Mizzou Tigers. The idyllic southern community of Charleston is just a few hours away, and Savannah, Georgia is a bit further south. The flow of traffic changes on game days before and after Gamecocks events. Pay close attention to signage and traffic officials for a hassle-free experience to Williams-Brice Stadium.
Tailgating at a football game is always a fun experience, but tailgating with your RV takes it a step further. At the South Carolina Fairgrounds, located near Williams-Brice Stadium, you can park your RV for a fee. In recent years, the fee has been about $200. Parking is first-come-first-serve, and the gates usually open in the morning on game days. If you purchase the two-night RV parking pass, you can stay from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon.
To traverse the area around the stadium, ride on the COMET’s Gamecock Express, which is a free shuttle service. The Gamecock Express begins picking up passengers three hours before the game, and it drops passengers off for two hours after the game ends. With many stops around the stadium and surrounding areas, the Gamecock Express is a great way to get around.
Whether you park on gameday or purchase the two-day parking pass, you’re allowed to stay at the Fairgrounds overnight. All RV’s must vacate the parking lot by mid-afternoon on Sunday, which still leaves you with plenty of time to clean up and make your way home. A dump station is available in case you need to empty the gray or black water tanks.
The Columbia, South Carolina area is scenic, and there are plenty of RV campgrounds that make good use of the surrounding vistas. Sesquicentennial State Park welcomes visitors to explore the outdoors and camp within 20 miles of Downtown Columbia. Broad River Campground sits about 30 miles to the northwest of Williams-Brice Stadium and offers shaded sites with hookups near local trails.
With the Fairgrounds being so close to the stadium, you might not need to use public transportation, but it is available. The best transportation option around is the Gamecock Express shuttle. The shuttle service is free and operates from three hours before the game until two hours after the game ends.
The garnet and black of the Gamecocks are a menacing color combination that fans wear proudly on game days. Pack as much Gamecocks gear as you can and strut with pride, as Gamecocks do. It’s worth noting that summers are hot, so prepare for the weather by packing loose, comfortable clothing that will keep you cool.
Is there a better way to prepare for a game than to toss the old pigskin around at your tailgate? As long as you’re not causing a disturbance, you can throw a football in designated areas. Of course, throwing a football creates an appetite, which is why you will want to bring a grill for cooking up your favorites. If you’re at the Fairgrounds in the summer or early fall, consider packing a tent to stay in the cool shade.
The excitement on game days can be overwhelming sometimes, which can lead to minor scrapes or bruises. To prepare for any minor medical issues, pack a first-aid kit and store it in your RV. A smaller, more portable first-aid kit is a good idea, too, in case you’re far from the RV. As always, drink responsibly and look out for your fellow tailgaters.
When you’re grilling at a tailgate, you can’t go wrong with keeping things simple by making foods such as burgers, hotdogs, or kebabs. However, South Carolina is known for its seafood, which you may want to cook to impress your guests. Make sure to stock up on tailgating supplies at the local supermarket before you park.
If you’re looking for a bite before or after the game, it’s worth checking out Columbia’s food scene. You’ll find safe options, such as pizza and sandwiches, but you can branch out and explore other cuisines. Even in this landlocked part of the state, seafood is popular, and you won't want to miss what is offered locally this close to the Atlantic Coast.
While drinking alcohol may not be allowed inside the stadium, except in the premium seating sections, fans can purchase University of South Carolina merchandise or chow down on some delicious stadium food. Outside the stadium, at the Bignon Gameday Center, you can find a large store with tons of Gamecocks-branded merchandise.
If you wish to bring a bag into the stadium, it must be clear, or it will not be allowed inside; any bag bigger than a small clutch purse must be clear. If you don’t have a clear bag, you can use a clear food storage bag. Smoking is not allowed at Williams-Brice Stadium, nor is it allowed anywhere else on campus.
During the summer months, expect the average high temperatures to be around 90 degrees, with the temperature dropping to a cool 70 degrees at night. Temperatures are warm until November, which is when the average lows drop to 40 degrees. Winters are mild, and freezing temperatures are uncommon.
There are multiple first-aid stations located at various points throughout the stadium. If you need help finding a first-aid station, speak with a staff member for assistance. Alternatively, text 69050 with your location and medical issue for assistance while at Gamecocks Stadium in South Carolina.