Because of ongoing construction at Paul Snow Stadium, Jacksonville State University officials have relocated the tailgating and RV areas. But officials hope a new shuttle service from Houston Cole Library will make up for any headaches.
"The end result's going to be great, but right now we're just going to have to adjust and hope everybody will be patient with us," Athletics Director Oval Jaynes said
No roads will be closed in town or on the campus of Jacksonville State University. But fans will see a few changes.
JSU moved the tailgate areas because of construction to the lawn in front of Kennamer Hall on Alabama 21, and the lawn behind Curtiss Hall, which is off Forney Avenue.
The RV lot, which opens today at noon and closes on Sunday, is now at the corner of Mountain Street and Forney Avenue. There will be water and cable hook-ups at the new RV lot. Crews in heavy equipment laid sod Wednesday getting the lot ready for the game.
Parking on Trustee Circle is now off limits. The shuttle will start running two hours before the 1 p.m. kickoff and stop an hour after the game to encourage fans to park at the library.
The Gamecocks face Tennessee-Martin and officials expect a crowd of at least 12,000. Compare that to last year's opener against in-state rival Alabama A&M, which brought in 16,000 fans.
But the stadium is down about 1,500 seats due to construction problems. An area where seats were removed after they were damaged during construction will be cordoned off with orange fencing. There's also a temporary walkway to help students navigate around that area.
The stadium has been a hot topic of discussion on campus. But the Gamecocks are also playing well, rolling over the latest two opponents and putting up scrappy yet unsuccessful fights against Florida State and Georgia Tech.
Some students on campus Wednesday were pumped about Saturday's match-up.
Sophomores Aaron Downs, Marcuss Barnes and Shaun Dunbar will have J, S and U painted on their chests.
"I'm hyped … I can't wait," said Downs.
"We lost to them last year by one point," said Barnes. "We got to redeem ourselves."
Added Dunbar, "I think we got a great team to whoop some (expletive)."
Among others scheduled to attend are 800 high school band students who will participate in pre-game festivities with the Marching Southerners, JSU's marching band. It's also Family Day, so a lot of parents will be filling the seats.
"I think our fans are anxious to see the Gamecocks play," said Greg Seitz, an athletic department spokesman.
More information about the game-day changes is available at www.jsugamecocksports.com.