This 85000 seat stadium is the homefield of the University of South Carolina Fighting Gamecocks (I'm not making that up). They haven't been doing well of late, but, like the NFL's Carolina Panthers, there is always hope.
USC Football is king!
Sorry Southern California fans, around these parts USC has nothing to do with Trojans. Nope, the University of South Carolina is the sports king in Columbia and no other sport garners as much attention as does football. The Fighting Gamecocks (the team's mascot, although they're more commonly referred to as simply, "the 'Cocks") have traditionally been a competitve team, but lately their team has struggled despite having one of the better known coaches, Lou Holtz at the helm.
Williams-Brice Stadium (aka, "the Cockpit") holds over 80,000 scream fans and USC is consistently among the national leaders in home attendance. If you're around on a Saturday in the fall, there's really nothing like a college football game in the South.
The 'Cocks play at "the Graveyard." Yep, that's right, the team's soccer stadium, which is actually called Eugene E. Stone III Stadium (a USC alum, who donated the funds to build the stadium), is also referred to by this somber nickname. It's called the Graveyard, because of its close proximity to the House of Peace Cemetery.
If you come to a game here, make sure you sit on the west side bleachers where the home fans will be (the west side has about 4000 of the 5700 seats). Check out the website below to get more info and team schedules.
The Colonial Center
The Colonial Center is the modern arena, which opened in November of 2002, that both the men's and women's basketball teams for USC play their home games. In addition, there are many concerts and conferences held here.
On the campus of the University of South Carolina campus, you'll find outdoor, cement basketball courts that can be accessed by anyone who is looking for a good game. It reminded me of pickup games that I used to play in all the time while attending the University of California at Riverside.
Kid's Day Columbia
There were all kinds of healthy, physical activities for kids at the annual Kids Day Columbia that just happened to be going on when Nat and I were visiting. Here's a shot of a little guy attempting to scale a rock climbing wall. I can't remember if he made it up, but I've tried this before, and it's harder than it looks.
Capital City Bombers Baseball
The Bombers of Columbia take the field at Capital City Stadium, a very bland, generic stadium. Constructed in 1991, baseball has been played at this spot for much longer, although nothing on the original grandstand exists. The stadium holds 6000 but rarely draws that many. There is talk of either moving the franchise or building a new facility near downtown.
Capital City Stadium: My visit
The stadium holds about 6000 although the Bombers rarely draw anywhere near that. And that's probably a good thing. I rolled in for a July 3rd game and the a special fireworks display coinciding with next day's Fourth of July celebration brought the crowds out. The place was almost full and it was obvious that they weren't used to or even able to handle such crowds. Lines were VERY long everywhere, I didn't even bother with the beer-wristband line (probably best, considering the two plus hour drive I had to my hotel in Charleston). Fortunately, everyone was very friendly and the mood was one of fun. The game was excellent, a low scoring pitchers duel and I had first row seat offering a good view of the action, although the seat behind homeplate and farther back offered better views.
Weirdest sight: A couple all over each other, nothing unusual with that, but they looked EXACTLY like each other. Yikes!
The best part of the day, winning the game. South Carolina kept it close the first half, but they couldn't beat UT. Poor Lou Holtz, of course now that Spurrier's the new head coach, I'm sure it will get a little rougher.
The Fighting Gamecocks men's and women's basketball teams play here. In the off season, the Colonial Centre is used for all sorts of concerts and other entertainment.
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