Explore The Passionate Sports Town of Columbia

With big-town athletic venues and a small-town charm, Columbia promises your sports event will never get lost in the crowd.

With big-town athletic venues and a small-town charm, Columbia promises your sports event will never get lost in the crowd.

Columbia attracts dozens of sports events with top facilities ranging from college stadiums to rowing centers

Richland County Rowing Center

Rowing teams will revel in the three miles of unobstructed flat water at the Richland County Rowing Center. The course is 200 meters wide and 8-12 feet deep, offering plenty of space for most major events. The 90-foot floating dock is designed specifically for rowing.

Lexington Soccer Complex

Designed to accommodate everything from soccer to rugby, the Lexington Soccer Complex features 11 lighted fields of varying sizes. There is plenty of open green space to set up tournament headquarters and more than enough room for hundreds of spectators.

The Fields at Saluda Shoals

The newest sports complex in the Columbia area, this facility is slated to open in August 2015. It will feature six regulation lighted championship fields equipped for lacrosse, soccer and rugby events, plus six clay and four hard surface tennis courts.

BB&T Soccer Complex

One of the main facilities used by South Carolina United FC, a club offering youth soccer programs for boys and girls, the BB&T Soccer Complex includes six lighted fields. It has welcomed soccer teams from across the region. For larger events, the facility can be combined with the adjacent Ballentine Park for additional fields.

Lexington County Tennis Complex - Credit LCRAC

Lexington County Tennis Complex – Credit LCRAC

Lexington Sports Complex

A popular and versatile sports venue in the Columbia area, the Lexington Sports Complex can accommodate a wide variety of sports events. In fact, it was home to the 2014 and 2015 Dixie Youth World Series. It features 13 baseball and softball fields, as well as four hard-surface tennis courts.

Cayce Tennis & Fitness Center at Otarre Pointe

For non-stop tennis action, this is the place to be. The venue features 30 lighted hard courts—seven 36” courts are built for children eight and under. The championship-size stadium court provides seating for 2,000 spectators.

Columbia Skyline. Credit. Brett Flashnick for the Columbia CVB

Columbia Skyline. Credit. Brett Flashnick for the Columbia CVB

Lexington County Tennis Complex

Just one of the homes of this year’s USTA Junior Team Tennis National Championship, this tennis complex is a top venue for any major tournament. It includes 21 lighted hard courts and a championship stadium court that seats 500 spectators.

William Brice Stadium. Credit. Brett Flashnick for the Columbia CVB

Williams-Brice Stadium. Credit. Brett Flashnick for the Columbia CVB

University of South Carolina Facilities

Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina, another reason why it’s such a big sports town. The USC Gamecocks compete at a number of elite facilities, which are also available for tournaments and events. Host a football game at Williams-Brice Stadium, which is known for selling out its 80,250 seats on a consistent basis. For basketball, you can’t go wrong with the Colonial Life Arena, the largest arena in South Carolina with 18,000 seats and 10th largest campus basketball facility in the nation.

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center

Perfect for hosting a number of indoor sports events, the 142,500-square-foot Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center offers flexible space for any competition. The 24,700-square-foot exhibit hall can accommodate cheers and dance events and gymnastics, just to name a few.

Surprising and entertaining Columbia attractions complement any sports event

If you decide to host a tournament in Columbia, South Carolina, there is a number of top attractions that will keep athletes and spectators entertained when the competitions end. Explore the four floors of the South Carolina State Museum devoted to art, history, natural history and science/technology. The museum just opened a one-of-a-kind facility that includes the only observatory of its kind in the country, one of the largest planetariums in the Southeast and the only permanent 4D theater in the state.

Riverbanks tiger. Credit Brett Flashnick for the Columbia CVB

Riverbanks Zoo. Credit Brett Flashnick for the Columbia CVB

Animal lovers can head over to the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, a 170-acre facility that is home to more than 2,000 creatures and is the No. 1 gated attraction in the state. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy an adventure through Congaree National Park and Harbison State Forest. Spend a day shopping at major retailers and boutique shops in the Vista District, Five Points or Devine Street, or take the family to the EdVenture Children’s Museum, the South’s largest children’s museum with 300 interactive exhibits.

Kayaking the Congaree - Credit Brett Flashnick for the Columbia CVB

Kayaking the Congaree – Credit Brett Flashnick for the Columbia CVB

Grab some much needed sustenance at any of Columbia’s great eateries. Treat the team to some traditional barbecue at Hudson’s Smokehouse or Shealy’s BBQ, or nosh on some scrumptious burgers at Pawley’s Front Porch. Grab a plate of Southern-style cooking at Lizard’s Thicket, or opt for some international cuisine at The British Bull Dog or Cantina 76. When it comes to food, Columbia guarantees teams will be thoroughly satisfied.

A central location and convenient transportation makes Columbia easy to reach

Columbia is one of only 10 cities in the country to have three major interstates transecting the metro area. The city is served by I-20, I-26 and I-77, and is only 60 miles from I-95, making travel simple from nearly every direction. Columbia is less then 150 miles from Charleston and Greenville, South Carolina; and Charlotte, North Carolina, while Atlanta is about 215 miles away. If you’re flying, the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) offers 40 nonstop flights to a number of destinations around the country. The city is also accessible by Greyhound bus and Amtrak trains.

Columbia boasts 123 hotels and nearly 12,000 sleeping rooms. There are plenty of accommodations at every price point, so planners, teams and attendees will find exactly what they need to match their budget.

X Factors

  • Social media marketing for your events
  • Volunteer staff
  • PR/media coverage
  • Signage
  • Site visits
  • Housing services

Planner Perspective

“Three cheers for the Columbia SC Tunnel2Towers. Truly awe-inspiring event from start to finish. My baby brother Stephen would be so very proud of you all for your efforts to honor those bravest heroes past and present. Great run, great town and even greater people. True patriots and kind and generous folks. What a wonderful country we have with people who care about our heroes. Be proud of what you have created, it’s truly something very moving and incredibly special. Keep following the footsteps of our American heroes! Godspeed, Columbia from Boss George Siller. What a day you made for us all!” – George Siller, Tunnel To Towers – SC 5K, Sept. 19

Summary
Make a Statement in the Passionate Sports Town of Columbia, South Carolina
Article Name
Make a Statement in the Passionate Sports Town of Columbia, South Carolina
Description
With big-town athletic venues and a small-town charm, Columbia promises your sports event will never get lost in the crowd.
Publisher Name
Sports Planning Guide

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