New venue gives Border Bash room for growth

Garnet, red and black blanketed the Hippodrome Events Complex for the 24th annual Border Bash, celebrating the cross-state rivalry between Georgia and South Carolina on the Palmetto state’s turf for the first time.

 

For many fans, this was their first visit to the Hippodrome, which was recently rebranded as an events center. It was previously known for horse-related events. South Carolina fan Wesley Doolittle has been to those events in the past, but said the Border Bash was his first visit to the venue in about 10 years.

“It’s open, but they need to smooth it out,” Doolittle said, referring to the dirt flooring of the complex.

Ample space was a compliment that many spectators made about the new location, especially in reference to parking. When held in downtown at the Augusta Common and Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Botanical Gardens in previous years, attendees said there was not enough parking to accommodate the many spectators. At the Hippodrome, there was parking to spare with enough space for kids to play football in the lot and cheerleaders to practice before taking to the stage.

“It’s a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be,” Mark Wells said.

An estimated 2,600 fans attended the event according to City Spin Tickets, the online retailer for the event. Proceeds from the event will benefit children’s charities throughout the Augusta area.

Regardless of where the event was held, fans were ready to spend time with friends and family rooting for their favorite team. South Carolina and Georgia followers made predictions on Saturday’s score which ranged from 45-0 to 35-34. This year’s game has brought out the passion in both sides as Georgia (8-0) goes into the game undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation. South Carolina is unranked with a 6-2 record.

Fans’ faces were graced with temporary tattoos and smiles as they met mascots Cocky and Hairy Dawg and the teams’ cheerleaders. Even four-legged fans walked through the crowd wearing Georgia or South Carolina gear.

Charles Cummings, owner of Triple C Sports, doesn’t have a dog or a gamecock in the fight, saying he was more of a “pro guy,” but used the opportunity to provide South Carolina and Georgia merchandise for fans. Sports lovers browsed through last-minute vendor stops like Cummings’ to be ready for the big event filled with music from Black Dawg, Ashley McBryde and Eve 6, as well as fireworks following the show, a first for the event.

 

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