By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The South Carolina Gamecocks play their season-opener this Saturday at Brice-Williams Stadium. The Gamecocks play the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
However, before a single play happens, the Gamecocks will have to put a new field down. The Jay-Z and Beyonce concert ruined it this past Tuesday.
There were 40,000 people at the concert, including Gamecocks football players, attended the event. The damaged sod will be replaced this week.
“We would not have done this if we believed there was a safety issue,” said Clark Cox, the school’s assistant athletics director for turf and landscaping, according to The State. “My job and our entire grounds staff’s job, our No. 1 priority in everything we do is safety and welfare of our student-athletes. We would not be doing this if this wasn’t a proven method of giving a safe surface.”
That method involves a newly created sod product called Instant Play provided by Precision Turf of Georgia. Thirteen truckloads were delivered to Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday morning, and another 13 truckloads will be delivered Sunday morning. By the end of the day Sunday, the field will feature 90,000 square feet of new grass.
To replace the damaged field, it’ll cost anywhere between $150,000-$200,000. According to Cox when he was interviewed by The State, the sod was put down in 42-inch-wide strips.
However, instead of the school being responsible to foot the bill, the concert goers will be charged with the cost.
“I’m extremely confident in Clark Cox. Clark is one of the best in the business,” South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner said. “We are not reinventing the wheel here. This has been done around the country with success. If I was to tell you that I wasn’t concerned or apprehensive, I wouldn’t be telling you the truth, but I think I get paid to worry about a lot of things.”
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