COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) — The University of South Carolina is considering a major revamp of Williams-Brice Stadium, including the development of nearly 800 acres near the property.
The university issued a formal Request for Information Tuesday that would determine the feasibility of the project and possible development partners.
“The eventual agreement could generate significant private funding for improvements to Williams-Brice Stadium,” a statement from the University said, “Allowing for the expansion of the venue’s use for other public events in addition to football games.”
The proposed project would not mean that Williams-Brice Stadium would move, nor would the school make a move to acquire and develop the State Fairgrounds property as was rumored in the past.
“We don’t need to acquire new properties. We need to take advantage of all USC has to offer,” said South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner.
Tanner says the project could be a “game changer” and could improve the fan experience.
“We are also looking at expanding the variety of events and opportunities these enhancements can bring, which will positively impact the local community,” said Tanner.
The school is seeking business partnerships to allow for improvements and development to spur without passing the cost onto students or taxpayers.
“We have a once in a generation opportunity to move forward on needed facility improvements through a partnership that doesn’t require public financing,” said Ed Walton, USC Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, “We intend to develop a project and select a partner who has a strong track record of creating commercial projects that benefit the entire community through job creation and new businesses that will make Columbia and the Midlands more vibrant than ever.”
A second phase of the project is the potential for continued private development of more than 17 acres adjacent to Colonial Life Arena, west of Park Street.
“The area along Greene Street leading to the Congaree River is red hot for development. We want to see what we can offer to encourage further opportunities built there around USC and Gamecock sports,” said Tanner.
The results of the RFI are due back in March, at which point the University will determine the best path forward.
For more information about the stadium and adjacent development project, visit GamecocksOnline.com/StadiumProject.