Originally Posted by SuperCockMaster
I want to make it a more memorable experience for her. She hasn't been to a game in close to fifteen years. My mom actually used to cheer for them back in the early 80's, so she remains a big fan. We live in Atlanta, so distance coupled with not being very well off made going to a game implausible hence my excitement at finally getting her to one. That being said, what's the tailgating like on a Thursday game? Any good hotspots we should hit up beforehand? I am sure the ones she remembers are no longer there or have different names now.
Honestly, if your mother is like mine then not only have her favorite spots changed, her taste has too. I'd try to secure a good spot in the fairgrounds (or, if prices permit, the new farmers market). That will provide access to the new Gamecock Walk, the band and cheerleaders processional, and plenty of gameday atmosphere without a lot of walking.
I've gone to a couple of Thursday openers, and the atmosphere is about like a big SEC game. Especially this year against A&M, I'd expect a crowd commensurate with a UGA or Clemson game honestly. First game of the year + first game against the new west rival + conference game = huge energy and huge crowd.
What I'm trying to say is -- it sounds like you are doing a really nice thing for your mom. Spend the rest of your funds on a good parking spot so she can soak up the atmosphere. If you're going to the game, it's going to be great, so just cut down on her walking, have a nice tailgate, make sure it's a family affair, and she'll really enjoy the trip.
I know that sounds simplistic, but if I hadn't seen a game in 15 years with my family, I'd like to tailgate with my son and watch the gamecocks play. Spending time with family and watching the game is plenty of action, don't feel obligated to demonstrate the best tailgate ever.