Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Williams-Brice Stadium can be found filled with thousands of fans at any given home game. But what happens on the sidelines might go unnoticed, until now. The football stadium was nationally recognized for their safety and security.
Security is something University of South Carolina takes seriously on and off the field at Williams-Brice Stadium and now all the hard work has paid off.
"We have so many different colleges and universities across the country. A lot of really big venues, a lot of really well established folks that are doing good things in the arena, so it was an honor and a pleasure for us," USC Emergency Management Lt. Scott Ellis said.
The university's football field was one of the top ten sport and entertainment facilities recognized by the National Center for Spectator Sport Safety and Security for their safety efforts. It is an award Ellis said they worked hard for.
"There's no one person or one department that could put this together," Ellis said. "We're all working toward the same goal. So that is our biggest advantage that we have."
Ellis said they have specific procedures in place and look to some big timers like the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons for protocol ideas.
"Examples like the clear bag policy a couple years ago as well as background checks for event workers have come from that, it's just a continuing process," Ellis said.
Fans said it is no surprise the stadium won this award and makes them feel more proud to be a Gamecock.
"It speaks volumes to what the university is capable of and how seriously they take these types of events," fan Michael Brown said.
"Never been experienced to college athletics before I moved here. It's been fantastic, even the stadium it's better then some of the pro stadiums that I've seen around the country. I was very impressed with that. Over all I'm very impressed with the whole thing," fan Naghav Badiger said.
Planning security for games starts six months before the first kick off and Ellis said it takes an army to get it all done. He also said the pre-season work makes for a great victory.
"Campus safety in general is always our number one priority, but we also role that over into all of our venues especially our large ones like Williams-Brice stadium," Ellis said. "So that's our number one priority, and if our fans can come in and feel safe then we feel like we've done something well."
Williams-Brice Stadium was among other facilities like Bush Stadium where the St. Louis Cardinals play. As well as the Bryant-Denny Stadium, which is home to the University of Alabama and Century Link Field where the Seattle Seahawks play.
Ellis wants to remind fans during the season there is the fan text tip line on game days to report any issues or requests for help.