Decision on where LSU and South Carolina will play is yet to be - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Decision on where LSU and South Carolina will play is yet to be determined

Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB
Columbia, SC (WAFB) -

LSU will play the University of South Carolina this weekend, but where the game will be held has yet to be determined.

South Carolina has been hit recently by heavy rains and flooding.

"We are not 100 percent sure that we will have a game at Williams-Brice at this time," USC athletic director Ray Tanner said Tuesday.

Tanner added the stadium is in good shape, but there are concerns about the safety of fans. High water remains a safety concern. 

Classes at USC have been cancelled for the week and trying to host a college football game in Williams-Brice Stadium, which seats 80,000, could logistically tap resources needed for life and property.

"There's certainly lots of concerns with our families and people who live here in the Midlands. And certainly, the logistics with the highways, the stadium water situation and other pressures with first responders, highway patrolmen and all the police that we use from various counties around the Midlands. So, there are a lot of concerns and a lot of things to consider. There's conversations about possibly moving the game to another city. More than one is being talked about at this point. I don't want to get into specifics. But certainly, a game at LSU is not out of the realm of possibility as well," Tanner explained.

LSU, USC and SEC officials met to see where Saturday's game can be played.

"We've been in constant contact with South Carolina," LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette said. "This is something we've been through before with the hurricanes. We've also been in constant contact with the SEC. But again, this is South Carolina's game and we'll follow their lead if they can play there or not. Hopefully, some time tomorrow (Wednesday). We don't want to put a time table on it, but sometime tomorrow we should know."

An LSU official said if the game is moved to Tiger Stadium, it is something the university would work to make happen. Louisiana State Police said it is working on a contingency plan with the LSU Police Department in case the game is moved to Baton Rouge. 

Regarding sites other than Columbia or Baton Rouge, conflicts exist in both Atlanta and Charlotte. 

Atlanta’s Georgia Dome already has a game scheduled for Saturday. Georgia Tech is not playing at home, but Tech officials said no one has contacted them about use of 55,000-seat Bobby Dodd Stadium at Grant Field. 

The NFL Carolina Panthers are also on the road, so the 75,413-seat Bank of America Stadium could make Charlotte a possibility. However, there is a NASCAR event being held in close proximity to the stadium and handling two potential large events could be difficult. 

SEC Associate Commissioner Herb Vincent said the conference is working closely with both schools to reach a decision as quickly as possible. 

LSU is scheduled to send its 110-member pep band to Columbia for the contest, but LSU band director Roy King said if the game is moved to Tiger Stadium, the full 325-piece band would make itself ready and present a halftime show that all Tiger fans would enjoy.

Tanner expects to give the word by midday Wednesday. He said the team hopes to play in South Carolina, "but it’s not a definite."

"This is South Carolina's game. We're going to do whatever they need us to do. They're taking the lead in this and so, we're just kind of waiting to see if they are able to host the game. If so, we'll go there and play and if not, we'll make a decision on where it needs to be played," Bonnette added.

The Tigers are preparing themselves to play in Columbia as planned. 

"It's not weird," LSU running back Leonard Fournette said. "We're still preparing each and every day for a great team, you know, an SEC opponent and they're a great team. Right now, we're just focusing on getting the little things done and preparation for the team."

LSU knows about games being forced to cancel or move because of weather.

Because of Katrina in 2005, LSU was forced to move its home game with Arizona State to Tempe in what was Les Miles' first game as the Tigers' head coach. 

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