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Carolina Stadium

Columbia, SC

Home of the South Carolina Gamecocks

4.7

4.8

Carolina Stadium (map it)
431 Williams St
Columbia, SC 29201


South Carolina Gamecocks website

Carolina Stadium website

Year Opened: 2009

Capacity: 8,242

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The Home of the Garnet and Black

Some places just do college baseball better. Before you walk through the gates and are greeted by two national championship trophies, you’ll be greeted by tailgaters, boiled peanuts, cold beer and general excitement. Baseball season at Carolina Stadium in Columbia, SC is second only to football season. And even that is debatable, depending on who you ask.

Always a strong baseball program, the South Carolina Gamecocks baseball program emerged over the last decade as one of the elite programs in the country. Legendary coach Ray Tanner led a baseball renaissance in Columbia in the 2000s, and the team won two national titles and appeared in the title game a third time in recent years. Perhaps part of the draw for recruits to Columbia is the 8,242-seat capacity gem of a college baseball venue, Carolina Stadium.

4.7

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    5

Carolina Stadium leaves nothing out of the lineup for food around the ballpark, with almost everything priced between $3-$6. For weekend games, you'll smell the bratwurst and burgers grilling before you even enter the gates. If hot dogs, burgers and brats aren't your thing, just take a lap around the concourse. Teriyaki chicken, barbecue, chicken fingers, boiled peanuts, smoothies, Bojangles' chicken, soft serve ice cream, Rita's gelato (with Garnet and Black Cherry) and more are available around the park. The smells alone are enough to make you love a weekend home stand at Carolina Stadium.

You should probably be aware that outside food and beverage are not able to be brought in and Carolina Stadium is a non-smoking facility. Also, alcoholic beverages are not sold in the stadium, but come early, because there will be plenty being poured outside at tailgate.

Atmosphere    5

Gamecock baseball has a reputation for a fun atmosphere. If you've watched the College World Series in this decade, you've seen the antics of the Gamecock players in the dugout. The crowd completely embraces this. You'll see 80-year-old couples bobbing their hands to Dr. Dre when their favorite player comes to the plate. All of the South Carolina favorites will be there too, with "Sandstorm" and the Theme From "2001" being played through the sound system. The enormous left field scoreboard shows all the replays and plays some custom South Carolina baseball pump-up videos. All of the fun between the inning activities of ballparks around America will always be included. And if you sit behind home plate, you'll be gazing at the Columbia skyline beyond the center field fence. Outside the stadium, tailgaters turn up Gamecock-themed music and pour cold beer. The experience is definitely a unique one, with all the passion and intensity of a major league park mixed with the coziness and comfort of a minor league park. And of course, the famous mascot Cocky will be roaming the stands and posing for pictures.

Neighborhood    4

There are definite advantages and disadvantages to the stadium location. It's riverside on the Congaree River with plenty of lots available for tailgate, but at the same time, it's not really within walking distance of anything of significance. The area immediately around the stadium is a warehouse and business area, so it's not exactly sightly.

Right up the road, however, is the Vista, which is a popular Columbia area for restaurants and bars. There are several hotels here if you're coming to town for a weekend series, and there is a selection of good restaurants for all tastes. Ruth Chris and Blue Marlin are a little fancier, while places like the Hunter Gatherer or the Carolina Ale House (complete with a rooftop bar) are more relaxed.

Fans    5

You'd think the University of South Carolina is strictly a football school, and you'd be almost correct. But that doesn't do justice to the support of the baseball program. The "Yardcocks" fans are every bit as passionate in May as they are in September. If you're not used to buying tickets in advance for college baseball, you'll want to investigate that option in Columbia. Tickets for SEC games often sell out, and if you're looking for seats behind home plate, you may have a difficult time. The good news is there are often left field bleacher seats available and Carolina Stadium is a great standing room park with great views from the entire concourse. The right field berm is a favorite.

The fans don't just arrive in droves, they're also loud, knowledgeable and passionate. They know all the players and know their tendencies. They memorize the theme music when each player comes to the plate and react accordingly. There's a lot of intensity around Carolina Stadium on gameday. You'll see white towels waved during "Sandstorm," the noise level raised for "2001" and the alma mater being sung with hands held high in toast after the last pitch.

Access    4

Carolina Stadium is pretty easy to find and is accessible from all three major interstates passing through Columbia. If you're coming from the airport, it's a 15 minute straight shot into town on Blossom Street. Parking can be a bit of a surprise, compared to other college parks. Gamecocks fans often arrive early and tailgate, and there is reserved parking immediately around the stadium. There are $10 lots and $5 lots lining Blossom Street and Huger Street, and those are probably your best bet. The Blossom Street lot behind the China Garden is the easiest to get in and out of without traffic. There's even a traffic cop stopping traffic for you to cross the busy street.

Once you arrive at the gates, you'll find navigating the stadium is incredibly easy. There are stairs in the left field part of the concourse, but from home plate around right field is all level and gives you access to any seat in the park. You can see the field from anywhere on the concourse (and many watch from the concourse on busy days), except in center field. The restrooms are huge and easy to get in and out, although expect a short wait if you go between innings, just based on the number of people at the game.

Return on Investment    5

Tickets run around $10-$18, and that's for one of the premier college baseball experiences in the country. Food is cheap, the venue is great and the team is almost guaranteed to be top ten in the nation. If you want to complain about anything, it's that you may have to pay as much to park as you do for your ticket. But for $20 total, it's hard to complain about the atmosphere you're going to be a part of.

Extras    5

This park is constantly improving. I absolutely love the ability to walk/stand anywhere around the park and see the game without feeling far from it. The berm in right field is an ideal place to pull up a blanket, put on your glove and wait for a foul ball. Because that tends to be such a family area of the park, the stadium put in a playground on a grassy hill across the concourse. The fan experience gets points for being one of the best. The National Championship display is also incredibly cool. Don't come to Carolina Stadium without taking a moment to pause for a picture with the back-to-back National Title trophies. There's just something about Carolina Stadium that feels like what baseball is all about.

Carolina Stadium

I have been a Gamecock Baseball Fan for 44 years,and I have been to Other Stadiums,but None Compares to Carolina Stadium,but I Do admit that Sarge Frye was a Great Atmosphere.

by Gamecocks1960 | Jan 08, 2015 02:12 AM

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Crowd Reviews

The Home of the Garnet and Black

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

With the grand opening of the new Carolina Stadium on the 21st of February, 2009, a new standard was born in Columbia. That fateful day, the doors were first opened to the general public to what has become recognized by many as one of the finest college baseball facilities one can visit in the country. An era of high expectations - I’d say met expectations - and of dominance has ensued in the following years, as the Gamecocks' sterling home record indicates. Proudly hanging along the opposites side of the great center field wall are the 2010 and 2011 championship banners - the first two national championships of any sport in South Carolina athletics history. With around 6,400 seats available and an estimated capacity of 8,242 fans, Carolina Stadium embodies one of the larger venues in college baseball.

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