Williams-Brice Stadium opened as Carolina Stadium in 1934 and was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). After several expansions, the stadium received a bequest from the estate of Martha Williams-Brice. Her husband, Thomas H. Brice, played football for three years at South Carolina. Martha Williams-Brice left a large inheritance from her family's successful furniture company to her nephews, Thomas and Philip Edwards, who donated much of it to the university.
The name was officially changed from Carolina Stadium to Williams-Brice Stadium on Sept. 9, 1972. The stadium has sold out every season ticket since 2001 and has had more than $30 million in renovations since that time.
Cocky, the school's mascot, has been entertaining Gamecocks fans since 1980, taking over for his "father," Big Spur. Cocky won the Universal Cheerleading Association Mascot championship in 1986, 1994 and 2004.
The Cockaboose Railroad has offered Gamecocks followers one of the more unique types of tailgating opportunities in the country. Since 1990, more than 20 cabooses have sat stationary on a railroad track just outside of Williams-Brice Stadium, with each providing occupants a living room, complete with cable television, air conditioning and heating. The outside of the so-called Cockabooses (45 feet by 10 feet) are all painted garnet, but many owners have made them more regal inside with mahogany wood paneling, wet bars, beds and other luxuries.
The Carolina Cockabooses also feature closed-circuit television to watch away games should Gamecocks fans not be able travel.
Just before the start of every South Carolina home game, the team gathers at the tunnel in the southwest corner of Williams-Brice Stadium as the opening notes of the theme from "2001-A Space Odyssey" are heard over the stadium sound system. The cheers from the crowd characteristically reaches a fever pitch and the Gamecocks hit the field running to raucous applause.