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USC moves football game to Baton Rouge

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By Chris Cox
ccox@scbiznews.com
Published Oct. 7, 2015
Updated Oct. 8, 2015, at 2:42 p.m.

The University of South Carolina has moved Saturday’s football game to Louisiana State University as a result of the past week’s rainfall and flooding, the school said Wednesday morning.

Kickoff will be at 3:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN, according to USC’s athletics website. Previously purchased tickets will not be valid, according to a news release on the LSU athletics website. Tickets will be sold by LSU, and ticket sale proceeds after expenses will be given to USC, according to the release.

An average SEC football game pumps $10 million into the Columbia economy. (Photo/Chuck Crumbo)An average SEC football game pumps $10 million into the Columbia economy, according to USC sports and entertainment professor Tom Regan. (Photo/Chuck Crumbo)

“Yesterday, we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel classes for the week due to the stress 34,000 students would place on the region’s recovering infrastructure; there is no doubt 85,000 fans would exact the same toll,” USC president Harris Pastides said. “In the spirit of supporting our S.C. community that is so supportive of Gamecock Nation, we have decided to move the game to Baton Rouge.

“The stress on law enforcement and first responders is too great. Moreover, we’ve had many in the Carolina family directly impacted by the flooding.”

An average SEC football game pumps $10 million into the Columbia economy, according to USC sports and entertainment professor Tom Regan.

Williams-Brice, the playing field and the surrounding area did not incur significant damage, but logistics issues, including ongoing road problems, as well as police availability, were a concern.

The Gamecocks (2-3, 0-3 SEC) are expected to depart for Louisiana on Friday to face No. 7 LSU (4-0, 2-0 SEC).

Tanner said on 107.5, “The Game,” that USC did not get “too far down the road” regarding discussions of playing at a neutral site. He did say contacts in Charlotte, Atlanta and Jacksonville, Fla., reached out, as did fellow SEC teams that did not have home games.

“On behalf of the South Carolina football team, we want to do the right thing and do what is best for all concerned,” head coach Steve Spurrier said. “It appears the best thing is to travel to LSU. We look forward to the challenge and competing against the Tigers in Baton Rouge on Saturday.”

NBC Sports is reporting that in addition to giving ticket proceeds to USC, Louisiana State's athletic director said the school would make a donation to flood relief efforts in South Carolina. Additionally, the American Red Cross will be collecting bottles of water to ship back to South Carolina during the game.

Other media outlets also reported that because the Gamecock band can't travel to Louisiana on such short notice, the LSU band is learning to play USC fight songs to perform during the pregame as a show of support.

Reach Chris Cox at 803-726-7545 or @chrisbcox on Twitter.

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