From staff reports/Photo by Jenny Dilworth
South Carolina already has one of the most exciting pregame player entrances in college football with 2001. It will get even more spectacular this season with the addition of pyrotechnics.
New this season will be four flame units, with each unit producing flames in excess of 20 feet, and eight Co2 jets that will create plumes of ‘smoke’ between 20-25 feet long, according to Eric Nichols, South Carolina Senior Associate AD/Marketing & Branding. The flame units will be fired as the team enters the field to the traditional “2001: A Space Odyssey” theme that has become synonymous with Gamecock Football.
“We believe this will be the most explosive team entrance in college football,” Nichols said.
“The University of South Carolina is the only NCAA team currently utilizing these effects for football games on this scale,” said Justin Pruett, Show Producer for Pyrotecnico FX. “Use of this type of equipment is more often seen across the NFL.”
Approximately 200-man hours were dedicated to the design, building and testing of the on-field towers, according to Pruett.
“What makes a great entrance is everything that South Carolina does when they come out of that tunnel,” said SEC Network analyst Matt Stinchcomb. “They’ve got a fantastic soundtrack in the Space Odyssey. The fans get wound up and they’re into it. It’s got really everything you’re looking for in a great entrance. It’s almost as if wrestling took its cue from South Carolina.”
For safety reasons, some on-field adjustments will be made for those individuals on the field during the team entrance, including VIPs, recruits, media, the band and cheerleaders.
The pyrotechnics are just one of the additions South Carolina is making to the gameday experience this year. It is also adding a DJ that will play music during pregame activities and at various times throughout the game.