March has always been a busy time for the Columbia Regional Sports Council as groups long to leave behind the cold winter weather in favor of warmth and the outdoors. This year is no exception, with seven events generating an estimated economic impact of more than $2.5 million dollars throughout the month.
“We always look forward to March as the weather gets warm and everyone gets excited to come out to the different sporting venues around Columbia,” said Jarrett Eason, Sports Council Sales Manager. “The events we have coming up in March are groups who have loved coming back to our beautiful event spaces and warm weather year after year. Our guests feel the southern hospitality immediately thanks to the support of our local community and our wonderful restaurants and hotels around the region.”
Three events take place the first weekend of March alone. Kicking things off is the 2016 – 2017 SCHSL Basketball State Finals March 3 – 4, during which 21,000 people will be in attendance at Colonial Life Arena. This event alone is estimated to generate more than $1.1 million for the Columbia region. Also happening March 3 – 4 is the UCF War of the Stars Cheerleading Competition that will bring 3,000 attendees to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Rounding out the weekend on March 4th is the 2017 Run Hard Columbia Marathon, which will begin and end at the South Carolina State House.
“The Run Hard team is looking forward to hosting the 4th annual Run Hard Columbia Marathon to help showcase what all Columbia has to offer and support the kids Run Hard running program,” said Jesse Harmon, Executive Director and Founder. “We believe Columbia is a great experience for anyone. Our race is unique because it offers runners multiple scenic views from quaint neighborhoods, urban city streets and the University of South Carolina campus. We also offer all the rolling terrain anyone can desire.”
The momentum continues mid-March as the United FC 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Cup brings 7,400 people to venues all over the Columbia region. This soccer tournament has contracted more than 1,000 total room nights and will have an estimated economic impact of over $800,000. The Sports Council will welcome the University of Rhode Island Men’s Crew March 10 – 18 for their spring training and the month comes to a close with the Palmetto 200. Teams will embark on the ultimate road race March 24 – 25 as runners take turns making their way from Columbia to Charleston.
“As the Columbia region continues to grow, so does our schedule of events,” said Scott Powers, Executive Director of the Sports Council. “It’s exciting for us to be able to offer new things to our returning groups each year, as well as have the resources to accommodate new events. The continued success we experience each March has been extending further into the spring season each year and we have much to look forward to in Columbia.”
Numbers at a glance:
- 7 events
- 33,655 attendees
- Estimated direct economic impact of $2,580,914 to the region
Events at a glance:
- 2016 – 2017 SC High School League Basketball State Finals | March 3 – 4
- 2017 UCF War of the Stars Cheerleading Competition | March 3 – 4
- 2017 Run Hard Columbia Marathon | March 4
- United FC 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Cup | March 10 – 12
- 2017 University of Rhode Island Men’s Crew Spring Training | March 10 – 18
- Legacy Dance Competition | March 17 – 18
- 2017 Palmetto 200 | March 24 – 25