University of South Carolina To Replace Field Following Jay-Z & Beyonce Concert
The Carters’ presence is still in Columbia
After the city of Columbia made the decision to close schools early in order to accommodate for the traffic that would accompany Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s On The Run II tour stop in the city last week, the couple was also honored with an official key to the city and had August 21st renamed in their honor.
But now, as they move on with their trek, the University of South Carolina’s athletic department has revealed that they will have to fully replace the field less than a week before the season opener after hosting the concert at the Gamecocks’ William-Brice stadium.
South Carolina staff will spend all of Monday installing over 90,000 square feet of Bermuda grass and is expected to be ready by the time the team kicks off its season by hosting Coastal Carolina on September 1st.
South Carolina had long planned for the possibility of replacing the field the moment the stadium was selected for the tour stop about 18 months ago says athletic director Ray Tanner. A hard cover was put over the field to protect it from wear and tear caused by construction and attendees, but once it was removed, it was clear that the grass had died and would need to be replaced.
According to Clark Cox, assistant athletic director in charge of turf and landscaping services, turf management has far surpassed what it used to be with systems in place where sod can be replaced, rolled into place and ready for play the very next day.
“We would not have done this if we believed there was a safety issue,” Cox asserts. “My job and our entire ground staff’s job, our No. 1 priority in everything we do, is safety and welfare of our student-athletes.”
You can see chunks come up on any field,” he added. “The idea with this sod is you can literally play on it right away. We could play a football game this afternoon if we wanted to.”