SC Football Guide: Benedict College Tigers

By:Bob Gillespie


Benedict College, one of two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Columbia, has a long – if interrupted – football tradition. The Tigers played against other all-black schools in the 1950s and 1960s before ending its program for financial reasons after the 1966 season. Fans’ passion for the game led to its revival in 1995.

Since then, the Tigers have created an exciting environment in the school’s state-of-the-art Charlie W. Johnson Stadium. Throw in the Band of Distinction’s performances, and Benedict fans get their football “fix” each fall Saturday.

How to enjoy a Tigers football weekend, inside or outside the stadium:

Getting tickets – Tickets are available for Benedict home games via the school’s ticket office or at the gate of the Charlie W. Johnson Stadium. Parking is $10; $15 for the annual Palmetto Classic and homecoming.

Where to eat before the game – Lizard’s Thicket and Golden Corral, both on Forest Drive, are popular with Benedict fans, as is Five Guys hamburger restaurant .

Where to celebrate after the game – Nearby Five Points offers a variety of bars and restaurants for postgame drinking, dining and entertainment.

Where to buy Benedict gear – Benedict’s on-campus bookstore stocks plenty of Tigers’ purple-and-gold merchandise. Or visit the school’s online bookstore.

Where to tailgate with Tigers fans – There’s nowhere more convenient than Charlie W. Johnson Stadium, featuring a large area around the stadium for fan parking.

Where to purchase your tailgate fare – Bojangles on Elmwood Avenue and KFC on Taylor Street are both go-to places for fried chicken and fixings, but many Benedict fans love the fried fish from Palmetto Seafood on Gervais Street.

Best Benedict game day rituals – As is the case with many HBCU schools, Benedict’s Band of Distinction is a big draw, especially the Fifth Quarter performance following games.

What they’re singing or dancing to – The Band of Distinction keeps fans entertained (and dancing in the stands) with a blend of traditional tunes, including a new fight song in 2018, and renditions of popular music.

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