Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Earlier this month, the State Budget and Control Board approved the funding for USC to buy the Old Farmers Market near Williams-Brice Stadium. Tuesday, the Gamecock Athletic Department gave News19 a look at the plans to turn it into a tailgater's paradise.
In April, the school plans to begin demolition of the property to change the area from a market to a 52-acre green space.
"The whole area over there is going to be transformed over there and it's really going to be beautiful," said Associate Athletic Director Kevin O'Connell.
O'Connell says the new green space will appeal to all ages, and adds school leaders even want to start a new tradition on site called the Garnet Way, to welcome the players into the stadium.
"We envision our team and our band walking along the Garnet Way into the stadium," said O'Connell.
The area will have $2 million worth of landscaping, more than 650 trees, and bathrooms that don't begin with 'porta'. That's to go along with the 3,000 new tailgate spots with new features.
There will be several hundred spots that all have cable hook up and power to their parking space," said O'Connell.
The school asked for suggestions before they started. Number one was the size of the tailgate spots. That's about to change with the new design.
"You'll have an 18 foot wide space for your car, but also behind your space you'll have a ten by ten tent zone," said O'Connell.
Another goal is to make the area around Williams Brice reflect the on-campus look of USC. You'll see wrought iron fences and similar lighting. They're changes you won't see until fall of 2012, but something USC says it will be worth the wait.
"Fall of 2012 all of Gamecock nation will be thrilled with what they see across the street from the stadium," said O'Connell.
The new green area beside the stadium doesn't have an official name yet. The development will costs the school about $30 million.