The Clemson Tigers play at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. Memorial Stadium can seat just over 81,000 Clemson Tigers football fans! Of those seats, 11,000 of them are Clemson Tigers Memorial Stadium student section ticketed seating. Students receive an exact seat, unless they sit on the hill on the East side of the stadium, which is a popular place for Clemson Tigers students.
Memorial Stadium is widely known as "Death Valley" to Clemson fans...and foes! The term has stuck around for a few different reasons. Memorial Stadium is located in a valley, there is a campus cemetery that used to overlook the field before the upper decks of the stadium were built, and the biggest reason comes from a former football coach of an opposing team. Lonnie McMillian from Presbyterian College was said, back in 1948 that he was taking his team "up to Clemson and play in death valley" because his team very rarely scored or gained a victory at Memorial Stadium. Former head coach Frank Howard started using the stadium nick name in the 1950s, which really made the name stick. Howard received a gift of a rock from Death Valley, California from a friend that later became "Howard's Rock."
A few years after Frank Howard received what he thought to be a random rock from Death Valley, California, he told someone to get rid of the rock from the place it had been sitting as his door stop in his office. Gene Willimon, the executive director, thought it was a better idea to put the rock on a pedestal on the top of the hill in the east endzone of Memorial Stadium. On September 24, 1966, the first game the Clemson Tigers played with the rock sitting on The Hill, the Tigers football team beat their rival Virginia 40-35. Players started to rub the rock before games in 1967 and Coach Howard said "give me 110% or keep your filthy hands off of my rock!"
The Clemson Tigers can boast what many call "The most exciting 25 seconds in College Football" which is when the Clemson Tigers football team enters the stadium before the game. After warm-ups, the football team exits Death Valley on the west side, get into two buses that are escorted by police officers, the buses make their way around the stadium to the east side where the popular student section The Hill is located. All of this is taped and streaming on the JumboTron inside the stadium. Once the buses pull up to the east side, the players gather at the top of the hill and stand around Howard's Rock, and may rub it if they are going to give 110% like former Coach Howard insisted! Cannons sound, the band begins to play the school song Tiger Rag and the players run down The Hill, with the Clemson Tigers fans yelling and screaming with many chanting C-L-E-M-S-O-N!
There are so many long running traditions going on at the Memorial Stadium during Clemson Tigers game! Students of Clemson University have a roaring good time at Death Valley! Remember to bring your Clemson student ID with you if you plan on sitting in the Clemson Tigers Memorial Stadium student section! Don't have a student ID? No worries! Get your Clemson Tigers tickets right here! Go Orange and Purple!