T. Ed Garrison Arena Education/Conference Center

Non-recurring request:  $10 million

The T. Ed Garrison Arena, near the Clemson campus, provides an exceptional event venue for livestock and equine events that draw participants and spectators from throughout the Southeast and increases the national reputation of South Carolina’s cattle, equine and other agriculture-based industries. No significant improvements have been made the facility since its construction in 1991. The proposed center and facility improvements will:

  1. Attract more events to the arena and provide an excellent meeting and instructional facility and exhibition space that is not currently available in the upstate;
  2. Allow Clemson PSA to recruit regional and national events, as well as trade shows in the Horticultural, Small Animal, and Agriculture Equipment Industries, etc;
  3. Allow Clemson to expand educational youth events for 4-H and FFA; 
  4. Serve the educational needs of the university as a venue for student-centered events and indoor experiential lab space;  
  5. Allow Clemson to work with Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens County with their events.

The additional space will also be very attractive for groups in the Forest and Natural Resource industry to conduct educational programming and host trade shows for their different groups.  The proximity to the Clemson Experimental Forest will be a major draw for the Forest industry from the Southeast to use these facilities.

The Garrison Arena averages approximately 100,000 visitors annually. Major events include:

  • JD Massey Classic Horse Show (April). This was inaugural event at the Arena. Second oldest continuous Saddlebred show in US. Annually the largest horse show at Arena.
  • S.C. High School Finals Rodeo (May).
  • Pro Rodeo (March and November) annually the largest ticketed events at Arena.
  • S.C.Q.H.A. Horse Shows and SCQHA approved shows- 5 annually.
  • Region 12 Youth Jamboree (June). Clinics for youth in the 6 states comprising Region 12.
  • S.C. 4-H State Championship Horse Show (June).
  • Western Carolinas Arabian Horse Show (April and November).
  • S.C. Junior Beef Round up.
  • Purebred Cattle sales for Angus, Hereford, Brahman, and multi-breed sale for Shorthorn, Gelbvieh, Simmental, Balancer

Additions and cost breakdown:

  • 30,000 sq.ft. climate controlled meeting/conference center and exhibition hall: $8 million
  • 45,000 sq.ft. covered open-air arena and schooling arena to expand equine use: $2 million