Enjoy a Saturday with the Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC

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Are you thinking of getting UofSC football tickets this fall? Whether you’re a Columbia native and have cheered on the Gamecocks for years or even if you’ve just recently moved here and are not sure about the college football atmosphere, we will walk you through all you’ll need to know about going to a USC Gamecocks game. From bringing along your kiddos, tailgating, Gamecock Walk, prepping for the game and what to expect while you’re inside the stadium, we hope to leave none of your questions or uncertainties unanswered! 

In the stadium at a Gamecocks Football game

This article includes:
How do I get Gamecocks Tickets?
Things to Know About USC Football Games
Where to see the “Gamecock Walk”
Where to Tailgate With Kids For Gamecock Games
Tips for Tailgating With Kids
USC Traditions: Sandstorm
Where to Buy Gamecock Gear in Columbia, SC

Let’s Go Gamecocks! 

The University of South Carolina is home to the fighting Gamecocks. With mascot nicknames of “Cocky” and the live Gamecock, “Sir Big Spur”, they are the only major college program to call the Gamecock their official mascot. The Gamecocks proudly wear the colors garnet and black. The USC football program is part of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and is coached by Shane Beamer. 

The USC football games are such a thrilling and fun atmosphere to be a part of. Home football games occur almost every other Saturday throughout the fall. During this time, thousands of people from all over the state make their way to Williams-Brice Stadium to cheer on the gamecocks. The 2023 football season will begin with an away game against the University of North Carolina.

Williams Brice Stadium

You’ll Love Williams-Brice Stadium 

Williams-Brice Stadium was originally opened in 1934 as “Carolina Stadium”, but since then has undergone many facelifts. Known to locals as “Willy-B”, the stadium now holds a little under 80,000 fans! Williams-Brice Stadium has been recognized as one of the best facilities in all of college football. Year after year, USC ranks as one of the nation’s leaders in football game attendance and are some of the most loyal fans in the country! 

Along with housing the football field, Williams-Brice Stadium is also home to a huge athletic training room and hydrotherapy area, updated locker rooms, and a players’ lounge. 

Purchasing Tickets for UofSC Football 

Plan, plan, plan! Generally, the earlier in advance that you purchase your game tickets, the cheaper they will be. Home game ticket prices vary greatly depending on team rank, seating section, and each individual game. If you’re looking for the most cost-efficient option, choosing a game when the Gamecocks play against a non-conference opponent is best.

Most South Carolina Gamecocks Football tickets are digital tickets and will be sold through TicketMaster. Always be sure that you are purchasing tickets that are “verified resale” as you will have a much smaller chance of receiving anything counterfeit. 

A second way to get tickets is by going to the university’s ticket office located at 1304 Heyward Street. The office is open from Monday – Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. If you’re unable to visit the office, you can also call them at 803.472.3267. It’s probably a good idea to give them a call in advance, either way, to double-check that they still have tickets available!  

Season tickets are also an option if you plan to attend a lot of games.

Top Things to Know Before Attending a USC Football Game 

Like most major sporting events and large gatherings these days, there is a clear bag policy at Williams-Brice Stadium. Each fan is allowed to carry one clear bag into the game, however, if you have a medical condition that requires large and non-clear bags, you can head to West Premium Gate 21, Southeast Gate 55, or East Gate 81 for additional inspection of bags and entrance. 

Outside food is not permitted within the stadium. Have no fear though, there are plenty of concession stands all around the stadium that have a variety of options available – hamburgers, nachos, pretzels, hot dogs, pizza, candy, drinks, and more! HEADS UP, each fan is allowed one SEALED bottle of water, but all other drinks and liquids are also prohibited. 

Some other things that aren’t allowed inside of “Willy B” include:

  • Umbrellas 
  • Strollers 
  • Personal seat cushions
  • Noisemakers 
  • Camera bags 

You Won’t Want to Miss “Gamecock Walk”

Gamecock Walk is a MUST-SEE event that happens a couple of hours before the start of each game. Eager, cheering, and excited fans line up all along “Garnet Way”, a beautifully landscaped area throughout Gamecock Park and across Bluff Road, to welcome the coaches and team into the stadium. You and your littles will get an up-close look at all of the players and some of them will give high-fives and cheer along with the crowd. To be a part of this great tradition, it is best to be at Gamecock Park about 2.5 to 3 hours before kickoff. 

USC Football

Best Places to Park and Tailgate in Columbia With Kids 

Our best tips for tailgating with young kiddos on game day are to arrive early, plan ahead, and get as close to the stadium as possible to avoid having to walk long distances. Most lots have season parking passes as well as first come, first serve options available.

Here are some of our favorite places to tailgate with children:

Gamecock Park Quad 5
As we discussed earlier, Gamecock Park is where fans will line up to be a part of Gamecock Walk. If you choose to tailgate here, you will be close to all the action and extremely close to the stadium. Aside from Gamecock Walk taking place here, there are also jump castles for kids, music and live bands that play, and a grassy field and sidewalks to walk on. Gameday parking at Gamecock Park will cost about $60/game for non-season parking passes. There is so much family fun to partake in here! Even if parking here is not an option for you, you can still walk down and enjoy all the entertainment! 

Fair Grounds 
Another great parking option is the Fair Grounds. Parking here will cost about $40/game unless you have a season parking pass. For first come, first serve parking you will enter through Gate 12 off of Rosewood Drive. The walk from the Fair Grounds into the stadium will take no more than about 5 to 10 minutes. Keep in mind, when the State Fair is in town, there are no options for gameday parking in these lots! 

Almost all of the small businesses around the stadium offer gameday parking. Prices range greatly depending on the distance to the stadium and the specific game. Most of these places do take card payments, however, it’s never a bad idea to bring some cash along, too! 

Football Parking and Tailgating 

Tips for Tailgating With Kids

Our best tip is to arrive early as the most preferred parking lots are known to fill up quickly. Be sure to bring games with you to keep kids and adults engaged and having fun. Some great tailgating games are cornhole, a football to toss around, a frisbee, and ring toss. 

It is also a great idea to pack folding chairs along with you and a canopy tent for shade if you’ve got one. You might also want a small folding table to sit food and drinks on for serving. Be sure to bring plenty of food, drinks, and snacks with you, especially games at the beginning of the season as the weather can still be especially hot and humid. 

Outside the stadium, almost all restrooms will be porta-potties. That being said, if you’ve got young kiddos, it might be a good idea to bring seat protectors, extra wipes, or even their own small, portable potties. Oh, and don’t forget the hand sanitizer! 

The majority of tailgating fans around you will be friendly and welcoming. If you forget to bring anything with you, don’t be afraid to ask your neighbor. Invite people to play along in your games, go check out Gamecock Park and the Cockabooses, and enjoy the unmatched atmosphere and energy all around! 

Sandstorm USC Football

Be Prepared For a Sandstorm! 

Plan to get to your seat at least 30 minutes before kickoff. This will give you plenty of time to get seated, watch the team finish their warm-up, and get ready for a great game!

On your way to your seat be sure to look for staff members handing out white rally towels. These will be waived all throughout the game by excited fans and is a great tradition at USC. They are most known for being waived during the song, “Sandstorm” which is played several times throughout the game – when points are scored, during kickoffs, beginning of the game, etc. 

The Gamecocks will enter the field to the song, “2001”. There will be a small firework display, the mascots “Cocky” and “Sir Big Spur” will be seen, and the stadium will be energized, loud, and enthusiastic. 

At halftime, the Carolina Band, also known as “The Might Sound of the Southeast”, will come out and perform. This is an exciting show that a lot of people really look forward to! Pro tip: most people get up and go to the restroom and concession stands during halftime, if at all possible, try to do these things a few minutes before or after halftime to cut down on lines and waiting time!

Here’s Where You Can Find Gamecock Gear

All over Columbia you can find stores that sell USC clothing and memorabilia. Some of our favorite stores with a great variety of merch include:

  • University of South Carolina Bookstore 
  • Barefoot Campus Outfitter
  • Addam’s University Bookstore 

You might also be able to find Gamecock gear at larger stores such as Target, Dick’s, and Academy Sports. 

Williams Brice Stadium 
1174 George Rogers Blvd
Columbia, SC 29201 

What is your favorite Gamecock football memory? We’d love to know! 

Looking for more fun fall ideas in Columbia, SC? Check out our fall guide for some great ideas!

Kayla Simmons
About the Author
Kayla grew up right outside of Charleston, SC and is a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina. She has lived in Columbia for a combination of 5 years. Kayla has a background working with special needs children, but now enjoys nothing more than being a stay-at-home mom of two. She enjoys keeping her kids busy by finding unique play spaces and events, involving them in hands-on activities and watching them learn about the world through play. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercise and spending quality time with her family and friends.

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