Battle of the Carolinas

The University of South Carolina will usher in the college football season for the fourth consecutive year Thursday (Sept. 3), when the Gamecocks take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in the inaugural Belk College Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C. 

The season opener, which is set for 6 p.m., marks the 57th meeting on the gridiron for the two Carolina teams and the first time the two teams will battle in Charlotte. The rivalry began in 1903. 

Tickets are still available for faculty and staff wanting to make the 90-mile road trip to the Queen City. Tickets range from $102 to $257.50, depending on seat location. To purchase tickets, go to the South Carolina Ticket Office website. The game also will be televised on ESPN. 

The last time the Gamecocks and Tar Heels met was in 2013, when the Gamecocks won 27-10 at Williams-Brice Stadium. 

Students are encouraged to show their school spirit at a game viewing party that will take place in the Russell House ballroom. Doors open at 5 p.m., and free tailgate food will be supplied by sponsors Carolina After Dark, Substance Abuse Prevention Education and the Russell House University Union. 

Earlier on game day, a group of students will head north toward Charlotte with Cocky’s Reading Express, the university’s mascot-led literacy program. Cocky and the student literacy leaders will visit with and read to children at Independence Elementary in Rock Hill, S.C., and Cotton Belt Elementary in York, S.C. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Cocky’s Reading Express. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of UofSC alumni will gather to enjoy a live-music tailgate hosted by the Gamecock Club and My Carolina Alumni Association near Bank of America Stadium. The event sold out quickly, which isn’t surprising as Charlotte boasts the university’s largest out-of-state alumni base. More than 8,000 alumni – 3,600 of whom are Moore School of Business graduates – live in greater Charlotte. With Moore School alumnus James Wolf at its helm, the Charlotte alumni club is the most active of all My Carolina Alumni Association clubs, offering alumni from 22–82 years of age an array of social, charity and professional offerings. 

And, in case you’re wondering, classes will not be canceled Thursday night. 

This year is the 122nd season of intercollegiate football at UofSC, with the Gamecocks’ roster featuring seven players who played high school ball in North Carolina. 

For those faculty and staff members looking ahead, the home opener for Gamecock football is set for Sept. 12, when the Gamecocks take on the Kentucky Wildcats. Season tickets for faculty and staff remain on sale, starting at $292 each. Visit the South Carolina Ticket Office website for details. 

And, for those faculty and staff members who plan to head to Williams-Brice Stadium this fall, be sure to check out the university’s Administrative Employees Club lounge, located underneath Section 23 in the east stands near the student section. The lounge opens to AEC members an hour prior to kickoff and again at halftime, where free drinks and snacks are available, along with private restrooms. The AEC is open to faculty, staff and retirees at all UofSC campuses. Admission to the lounge is $40 for seven home games for AEC members and $50 for guests. Individual game admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children. To join, contact Emily Davis at 803-777-7211 or via email at 

Go Gamecocks!


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