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Report: Ray Tanner Provides Update On Potential Development Project

Per the Post and Courier, South Carolina Athletic Director Ray Tanner has provided the latest for when the university's development project could be finalized.

A few months back, South Carolina's athletic department, through athletic director Ray Tanner, announced that they had begun to look for developers, both locally and nationally, to provide potential plans for what the school could do with 900 acres of land that are are currently undeveloped. This has created a lot of conversation amongst both the fanbase and local businesses as to what the best course of action could be, with some opining that hotels and restaurants could be built to make the fan experience better for those going to an event or coming in from out of town, while others believe now's a create opportunity to make Columbia more of a technological hub.

Since this initial announcement, little has been said as the university continues to gather information and feedback on what the best course of action is while searching for a developer who's willing to take on the project. According to the Post and Courier's Chris Day, in a recent speaking engagement with the Florence Rotary Club, Athletic Director Ray Tanner gave more insight into what the timeline looks for the a concrete plan being announced.

“I hope we are in a position — potentially this summer — that we can roll out something where you can start to understand ... that this is something the university is going to do.”

The project is also expected to bring in a significant amount of private funding, with estimates reaching close to 1 billion dollars, and Tanner made it clear that some of this money will be used to upgrade certain aspects of Williams-Brice stadium.

“We could use a lot more suites and club spaces,” Ray said. “We added four club spaces during the pandemic, and that’s been a fruitful investment for us as well.”

Day mentioned in his article that Williams-Brice Stadium currently has the second lowest number of suites in the SEC, with Vanderbilt being the one team that has fewer. With fans intaking games in ways much different than the way they did so just ten years ago, schools are now trying play catchup in terms of making the fan experience worthwhile on game-days. 

While things currently might be status quo, it seems that Ray Tanner and the athletic department are beginning to narrow the scope of what they could do behind the Long Family Football Operations Center, and around Williams-Brice Stadium and Colonial Life Arena.

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