A source with direct knowledge of the negotiations tells GridironNow.com that Jacksonville has offered to host Saturday’s LSU-South Carolina game at Everbank Field. The city is being considered, and a decision expected today.
Heavy rains resulting in severe flooding throughout South Carolina, which have especially impacted Columbia, are forcing South Carolina officials to consider moving the Gamecocks’ home game against LSU originally scheduled for Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.
South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said postponing the game was an option, but that is seen as a last resort.
It is not the conditions at Williams-Brice Stadium that are forcing officials there to consider the move; rather, it’s conditions throughout the city and access to personnel.
Williams-Brice at 12:40 pm Tuesday. Clearly fine. Issue is city’s infrastructure, access to support personnel pic.twitter.com/otKOclYjcW
— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) October 6, 2015
Aside from the venue, hundreds of support staff are required to put on an event the scale of an SEC football game, from ushers and concessions employees to police, medical staff and game-day operations. The availability of these staff members with the conditions in and around Columbia is in serious jeopardy.
With the Jacksonville Jaguars playing in Tampa on Sunday and no other event scheduled for the stadium, officials there contacted South Carolina with the offer. Everbank Field annually plays host to both the Florida-Georgia game and the TaxSlayer Bowl. This summer, it was announced that Everbank Field would host the 2016 Navy-Notre Dame game.
Classes at the university have been canceled this week, and portions of Columbia had to be evacuated Monday.
The SEC Network’s “SEC Nation” pregame show already has announced a change of venue for Saturday. The show, which was to originate from Columbia, instead will air from Knoxville.
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