The most unique tailgating experience in Columbia, SC

Cockaboose | Photo via @jacobreevescreative

It’s homecoming week for UofSC, so wanted to talk about one of the most unique traditions you could experience in Columbia. 🚂

If you’ve spent a Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the Cockabooses or maybe even tailgated at one of them — if you’re lucky. Let’s talk history, experience + price.

Gamecock fanatics can let off some steam in the 30-by-9 foot car, complete with a kitchenette, bathroom, and deck located steps outside the stadium

So who came up with this idea? Originally, a developer wanted to hook cabooses to a train and pull them from a local country club to the stadium. This fell through, which led to the development of the 22car Cockaboose Railroad in 1990. All but 2 of the cars sold for $45,000 each within 48 hours. 

The last recorded selling price of a Cockaboose was in 2019 for about $250,000, and a pair of them — with a total of ~540 sqft. — were sold for approximately $400,000. If you’re looking for some perspective, the average home value index in Columbia is around $180,000 as of August.

While it may not be realistic to purchase your own “rail-gating” set-up, there are other options, like multiple Airbnbs located within walking distance of the stadium or you can check out this game day guide to tackle game day like a pro.

If you’re not looking to settle for anything less than the locomotive experience, grab some pre-game drinks at TLC (The Loose Caboose) Sports Bar and Grill, located right next to Gamecock Park.