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Entering Williams-Brice Stadium was once accomplished by navigating a gauntlet of SUVs and Media trucks in the parking lots that surrounded the stadium. Just before kickoff, fans found themselves squeezing between vehicles as they dodged scalpers on bicycles and co-eds shouting “COCKS!!!” at the tops of their lungs. And while you still have to dodge the kids shouting and stumbling into Willy B – “the industrial feeling,” as university Athletic Director Ray Tanner once put it – is no more. During the off-season a $14.5 million project transformed the area into a gem of the college football world, featuring a lighted promenade and the Springs Brooks Plaza. At the center of the plaza a statue honoring Gamecock legend George Rogers now towers over the former parking lot and features a bench where you can sit next to the Heisman Trophy winner. And if you've carried a case of Bud Light all the way from your friend's place in Olympia, there are plenty more benches for your tailgate legs. It's a completely different experience and even though the Gamecocks aren't looking all that great on the field right now – at least they're doing it in a venue with style. by
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