What started as a Dabo Swinney effort to boost Clemson football fan interaction has turned into a 24/7 asset for the program and the university.
Clemson leaders on Saturday cut the ribbon on the newly improved Tiger Walk outside of Memorial Stadium, featuring a new entrance, a designated concrete pathway and the names of every team captain in program history.
During Tiger Walk, which takes place roughly two hours and 10 minutes before every home game, Swinney and the full Clemson team and staff walk 100 yards from the Lot 5 parking lot on the west side of the stadium into their locker room area.
Swinney started the tradition in 2008, the year he took over as interim coach, as a way to boost fan interaction for the Tigers. It’s become a pregame staple for Clemson just like the team’s traditional run down The Hill in the east end zone before games and the postgame Meeting at the Paw.
The Tiger Walk revamp was part of an extensive Phase 2 renovation to Memorial Stadium completed ahead of this season that also includes upgraded home and visitor locker rooms and parking lot/traffic improvements. Phase 1, completed ahead of the 2022 season, primarily focused on a new in-stadium video board.
The new Tiger Walk also fits into athletic director Graham Neff’s stated goal of making Death Valley a 24/7 venue, as opposed to one that’s only buzzing on seven Saturdays a year. Clemson has explored the possibility of holding concerts in the stadium, Neff told The State earlier this year.
No. 25 Clemson (0-1) is scheduled to kick off against Charleston Southern (1-0) at 2:15 p.m. on ACC Network. The Tigers are seeking a bounce-back win after getting routed by 21 points by then-unranked Duke in Monday’s season opener.
The 28-7 loss nearly dropped preseason No. 9 Clemson, the reigning ACC champion, out of the AP Top 25 poll and made the path to a conference championship, let alone a College Football Playoff berth, that much tougher.