CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – As Coastal Carolina University transitions into the FBS and Sun Belt Conference, their own Brooks Stadium was voted the number five football experience in the FCS.
CCU's Director of Athletics Matt Hogue says the university prides itself on providing fans the best possible experience and with the transition into the FBS and Sunbelt Conference, and an expansion to the stadium itself, fans can count on that experience being even better.
"I think the important thing is, you're right there on the action, there's really not a bad seat in the house, and you have a chance to be very close to what's going on and I think you'll see that even with the expansion," Hogue explained.
Brooks Stadium will be able to seat 20,000 people, and a goal for the university, is without a doubt a full house for home games, something Hogue thinks is the reality as the university welcomed the opportunity to join the FBS.
"We immediately began to see dividends from that and see a part of that return, and part of that return is, we became more valuable to other schools in FBS, as they started to look into their scheduling many years into the future," Hogue said.
One of those schools is UCLA, a team that plays its home games in the Rose Bowl Stadium.
"Not only do I think it was a real testament and symbol of how our status changed, as a university and as a football program, when we made that move but it was kind of a no-brainer to go play that game and have the opportunity for our student athletes to be showcased, and for our fans to see this university, housed within one of the most famous venues in all of sports," Hogue said.
That game is scheduled for 2023. It may seem far away, but Hogue believes the university will make the most of that time.
"There are a lot of things we will have to accomplish over the next few months and years. It will be a long-term process, as we transition into the FBS, and of course our goal is to be very competitive and a winner at that level," Hogue said.
Hogue believes the expansion of the athletic program will bring new prospective students and attention to the university as a whole.
"This is what athletics does for a university. It's an incredible marketing force, and now we have a chance to use that marketing force on a scale and in a sense that's far greater than it's ever been before," Hogue added.