Tailgating is an art form for South Carolina college football fans. But for die-hard fans of the South Carolina Gamecocks who want to elevate their tailgate, a rail car specifically designed for game-day parties is now available for $219,900.
The 270-square-foot condo across the street from Williams-Brice Stadium doesn’t have a bedroom or a full kitchen. However, it does have six parking spaces and 70 guest passes, as well as serious cred as the place to be on Saturdays.
The caboose up for sale shouldn’t be confused with the original South Carolina “Cockaboose” cars. In 1990, an enterprising developer brought in the group of rail cars that flank the stadium grounds. Originally going for a few thousand bucks, the price and interest have since spiraled.
Two years ago an original Cockaboose car went on the market for $219,500. But those original cabooses don’t come on the market very often.
“The owners typically buy them and hold onto them,” says listing agent Mike Sisk.
With only 22 Cockaboose cars and limited stadium space, an opportunity arose. Think of it as Gamecock Caboose, the Sequel.
“This other developer brought some more in. These came in 2000. These were brought into another parking area that is across the street from the stadium,” Sisk says.
This cluster of 18 rail cars and four passenger cars offers other perks, including parking and more room for “railgate” party guests.
After all, 270 square feet of interior space can fit only so many fans. Most caboose owners set up their tailgate parties outside the rail car.
The parking spaces alone could be sold for $15,000 to $20,000, Sisk notes. “That’s the unique proposition,” he says. “The ones by the stadium, you can no longer park next to them.”
There’s also a common area, which features live concerts. Across the street, there’s football happening, too. Attendance is optional. “You can tailgate at the caboose and never go to the game,” Sisk says.
The car up for sale comes fully furnished, decorated in garnet and black Gamecock colors.
“Its primary feature is the bar,” adds Sisk. Naturally.
The long and narrow space offers a sitting area with a wet bar, bar stools, a kitchenette, and drink cooler. The space is finished off with a half-bath and multiple TVs. On top of the caboose is an outdoor patio with a grill.
The current owners are three fans who purchased the caboose together about a decade ago. But with one out of town and not being able to attend many games, the owners decided to sell. The next owners could pursue a similar path: pool their funds together and score a game space to share.
Another option is to buy it as an entertainment perk for your business. “If you own a company, these are perfect,” says Sisk. “It’s clean, gated, and guarded. It’s a very nice tailgate atmosphere for people who want to have an entertainment area.”
It could even be purchased as an investment, and then leased out for the entire season or per game. Prices can run as high as $3,500 for a big SEC tilt, the agent notes.
Whichever route a buyer takes, this opportunity is still a very specific slice of the market. Although the cars come up rarely, they’re not necessarily a quick sale.
Sisk isn’t worried. “Football Saturdays in South Carolina are just crazy. College football is a big social event. It’s people’s passion,” he says. “They’re not afraid to spend money to support their favorite team.” All aboard!
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