Saturday’s South Carolina-LSU game will take place in Louisiana, not South Carolina. In spite of that, LSU will do everything in its power to make its short-notice guests feel welcome.
LSU will sell tickets to its fan base – starting with season-ticket holders and working down the totem pole from there – but donate all profits back to South Carolina.
Next, the LSU band will play South Carolina’s fight song.
“We’re not going to make much money on this game,” LSU AD Alleva said. “We’ll also make some type of contribution to the South Carolina Flood Refund at the end of the day.
“All ticket sales after expenses will go to South Carolina. They are basically the home team for this game. This is a lagniappe game for our fans. I hope our fans come out and support both teams.
Finally (and most importantly) the American Red Cross will be on hand to collect bottles of water, which it will then ship back to the Palmetto State.
On that front, South Carolina could not have hoped for a better place to play an impromptu road game.
The game has been set for a 3:30 p.m. ET kick. Broadcast information has not been finalized.
A historic weather incident this past weekend will have a significant impact on a college football game this weekend.
Even as they tried to work out alternatives earlier in the week, South Carolina officials confirmed in a press release Wednesday that the game against LSU, previously scheduled to be played Saturday in Columbia, will instead be played in Baton Rouge at the home of the Tigers. Historic flooding in the area triggered the decision, which was made after consultation with state and local officials, law enforcement, the SEC and LSU.
The fears of those involved in making the decision, which was made yesterday, was that 85,000 fans attending the game Saturday would exact a toll on an infrastructure that’s already stretched to its limits because of the flooding. Classes for 34,000 students had previously been cancelled.
“On behalf of the University of South Carolina Athletics Department, our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered the loss of life and property during this tragic flood,” said athletic director Ray Tanner in a statement. “After much thought and consideration, and in conjunction with local and state authorities and with our own University administration, we have made the decision to move Saturday’s football game to Baton Rouge. Changing venues on such short notice is no easy task, and I would like to thank LSU President F. King Alexander and Athletics Director Joe Alleva for their cooperation and flexibility in working with us to change the site for Saturday’s football game.”
“On behalf of the South Carolina football team we want to do the right thing and do what is best for all concerned,” said head coach Steve Spurrier. “It appears the best thing is to travel to LSU. We look forward to the challenge and competing against the Tigers in Baton Rouge on Saturday.”
A kickoff time will be announced later today or tomorrow. The Gamecocks are expected to leave for Baton Rouge Friday.
The recent flooding in the state of South Carolina has brought many dangers and concerns much more important than football with it, but this being a college football-focused website we must dive into the connection real life issues have with the sport from time to time. South Carolina is scheduled to host LSU in Columbia this Saturday, and that still appears to be the plan. Alternate plans have been discussed though, just in case they will be needed as the week unfolds.
The very concept of moving a college football game to another stadium is indeed a rare situation. It is not, however, completely without precedent. The 1942 Rose Bowl between Duke and Oregon State (my how the times have changed) was moved from Pasadena, California across the country to be played in Durham, North Carolina. This was out of fear of the west coast being attacked during World War II though. LSU’s Tiger Stadium has served as a home football stadium for a weather-related event in the past as well. The New Orleans Saints played four games in Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and forced the Saints to play the entire 2005 season on the road.
Today is only Tuesday, so there is still some time to make sure Williams-Brice Stadium and the surrounding area is suitable for hosting the SEC contest this weekend. Odds are the game will be able to be played as scheduled, but safety for fans and teams involved is always the priority.