South Carolina-LSU game moved to Baton Rouge due to flooding
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina is moving its home game against LSU to Baton Rouge because of massive flooding around the university.
The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET.
South Carolina officials wanted to keep the game in Columbia, but said Wednesday that law enforcement who would direct traffic and keep Williams-Brice Stadium safe were needed elsewhere in the area to help clean up from the massive flooding.
"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," University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides said in a statement.
Pastides said if he cancelled classes this week because 34,000 students was too much for the city’s damaged infrastructure to handle, he couldn’t justify bringing in 84,000 people for a football game.
South Carolina hosts Vanderbilt on Oct. 17. Officials have not discussed whether that game may also have to be moved. Dozens of roads around Columbia are closed or have been washed away in the flooding
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier was on a Columbia TV station asking people to donate to the Red Cross when the decision was announced.
"Moving the game is best. The governor, our president, law enforcement, they all think this is the right thing to do. We’re just not ready for a ball game Saturday afternoon," Spurrier said on WIS-TV.
Moving the LSU game to Baton Rouge is a financial hit for South Carolina. Projections from the athletic department’s budget presentation to the Board of Trustees in June showed the school expected to make $3,854,476 from ticket sales.
LSU has had to move football games before. The Tigers moved their opener in 2005 against Arizona State from Baton Rouge to Tempe because of damage from Hurricane Katrina.
LSU also had its opener this year at home against McNeese State cancelled because of persistent lightning.
"We want to support South Carolina in anything they want to do," LSU coach Les Miles said Wednesday. "We have been through weather issues here."