I'm not quite sure what to make of the following picture:
Yes, folks ... or perhaps that should say, "YES," folks, that is the current state of seating at Williams-Brice Stadium, after a cursory check of the YESDonation.org Web site.
I have to say, I'm a little surprised that, to borrow a common phrase, "good seats are still available."
I realize that YES is one of the most controversial measures enacted in the history of the Gamecock Club. I'll go ahead and say that in the nuclear arms race that is the SEC, you have to pay to play, and, it was time we started paying up.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I'm not a member of the Gamecock Club at this point. (there are several reasons for that, none of which is "I DON'T WANNA PAY!")
However, I do, like so many of us Gamecocks, glom on to the 'rents. Since I got married in January, my Dad is increasing his season ticket buy from 2 to 4, so we can be one big happy family at games (awwww).
I will admit, we upgraded somewhat. We moved over to the West Side, so we will be out of the blistering sun on those pesky day games.
But man, look at all of those seats, especially on the East Side.
This, coupled with the fact that Carolina sent me an e-mail urging me to join the Gamecock Club, saying that I can join the GC at the Roost level ($55) and still be able to buy a pair of season tickets.
They are even having Gamecock Club sign-ups and YES reps at the Garnet & Black Game on Saturday and at all of the Rubber Chicken Circuit Gamecock Club "Carolina NOW!" tour stops around the Carolinas this spring.
Now, as someone who actually was around during the ancient times (i.e. pre-Holtz) days, I can remember being able to buy a season ticket (minus the clemson game) without even joining the Gamecock Club. I know because this is how my Dad and I saw a lot of Gamecock Football.
Still, I'm a little surprised. In a way, it's a heck of a deal for anyone wanting to jump on the Gamecock Club wagon and not get the total shaft. Heck, if you're by yourself and willing to pay the seat tax, you can get a single in West Lower on about the 30s/40s. Not too bad. If I was still a single man ...
Anyway. Here's what I wonder: Is it the YES program in and of itself, the crappy economy, or both?
One reason why I was in favor of YES, aside from the revenue stream it opens, is that it actually opens up seats. The program, along with the economy, is preventing people who only "need" 2 tickets from buying 8, selling the other 6 along with "help for dues" in order to subsidize their football habit (which is bunk, since you can write off 80% of your Gamecock Club dues).
Throw in "help with seat tax" and all of a sudden, it's not a smart business decision.
But, what of the folks who can't afford it anymore? I know because our family is sort of in that boat. Dad has said "We'll try it for a year, then see what happens."
Even I, not being flush with cash, and entering a new stage of life, have actually thought about the fact that, if worse comes to worse, I do have a 42" HDTV and DirecTV. The games do look purty in HD.
If nothing else, I think this will silence the sect of the Tinfoil Hat Brigade who say "DURRRRR!!! EXPAND TEH STADIUM!!!!1111!! 150,000 GAMECOCKS, BAY-BEEEeeeee!!!!"
But, that's another discussion altogether.
This is what we have so far, Gamecock fans. Thoughts/Comments/Discussions in regards to YES and where we sit today?