It's hard to get any number of people up and about early on a Saturday morning. That is, unless it's for a facility tour at the University of South Carolina. In that case, hundreds of people will show up to see the great things happening at the University.
The Gamecock Club held a facility tour on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 25, and a lot of people came out to take advantage of the unique opportunity to tour Williams-Brice Stadium and the indoor practice facility.
"I think it speaks volumes that we had over 300 people come on a Saturday morning at eight a.m." Gamecock Club Executive Director Patrick McFarland said. "That just shows how proud they are of their Gamecocks, and it allows us to be able to show them where their investments are being put to use."
The tour started outside the stadium, where fans were able to see the George Rogers statue. It then moved to the top of Williams-Brice Stadium, where the press box is located. The fans were able to tour that area, as well as the suites in the two levels below the press box.
As an added twist to this particular tour, the fans were able to visit the visitor's locker room for the first time. It was then time to go out on the field at the stadium to take pictures and enjoy the view before heading over to the practice facility.
It was a great chance to see the improvements that are constantly being made in and around the stadium.
"It's extremely exciting to come here and be part of these facility tours," said Ray Lewis, the Vice President of the Greenwood County Gamecock Club. "As Gamecock Club members we see where our donations go and the support and resources we're providing our student-athletes, which is so important this day and age."
The tour happened to fall on the first day of spring practice for the football team, so there was added excitement in the air.
"I'm glad we made a bowl this year so we got some extra practice for the younger kids," Lewis said. "We had a number of signees come in early, so it's important for them to go through this and get acclimated to the speed of college football. I look forward to the spring game."
Spring practice culminates with the aforementioned spring game on Saturday, April 1. Admission is free for everyone and kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
**Story and photo by Kyle Heck**