CLEMSON - Death Valley's going to be pretty dark for the first month of the season, but Clemson might be doing something about that.
Athletic director Dan Radakovich floated the idea on Twitter July 19 of inviting Clemson fans to Death Valley to watch the Tigers' season opener, a road trip to Georgia Aug. 30, on the big screen at Memorial Stadium.
Radakovich's suggestion - "Hearing from students and fans wanting to watch @ClemsonFB at UGA at Death Valley ... could be a fun idea and staff will look into it." - gathered some traction on social media; the tweet has more than 200 retweets and favorites each.
With a month to go before the opener, though, the Clemson athletic department is still, indeed, looking into it.
"We've had some discussions internally. There are some real pros and cons to that," Radakovich told The Post and Courier Wednesday. "If you're here at 5:30 (p.m.), look at the video board and see where the sun is. Is that going to bring people here? Certainly the second half of the game will be great, it'll be dark."
Besides the positioning of the sun shining directly on the videoboard on a late summer afternoon, Radakovich was unsure of how popular the event would be, considering usual Memorial Stadium rules (no smoking, no drinking) would apply. Backup plans in case of inclement weather are also a concern.
The next step, Radakovich said, is sending associate athletic director of external affairs Tim Match to meet with student leaders and gauge their interest.
"Is it something they really want, or is it just four or five people that gather momentum? Will people want to do that just to be inside the stadium? I don't know," Radakovich said. "If we have the ability to get it done, opening the gates and having people come in, we'd be glad to do it."
Clemson hosted soccer fans at Riggs Field to watch World Cup matches this summer, and Littlejohn Coliseum welcomed basketball fans to watch the Tigers play at Notre Dame in 1979. However, there is no recollection of a football viewing party at Death Valley.
"We're open to it. We're investigating it," Radakovich said. "We want to make sure it's the right thing to do."
The Clemson-Georgia game will be televised by ESPN.
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