Coming to Columbia

For the first time since 1970, the capital city will host the men’s college basketball tournament. Get psyched for buzzerbeaters, clutch shots, and cinderella stories coming to Colonial Life Arena in March 2019.

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Get Ready

We're putting our southern hospitality on display as one of the most iconic tournaments in all of sports comes to town. Check out our fan events to catch all the action going on in Columbia SC.

Fan Events

Tournament Schedule

Schedule Details

Thursday, March 21

Open Practice

Free and open to the public, catch teams prepping in person.

Friday, March 22

First Round

The tourney begins - eight of the tournament's 64 teams face off in Columbia.

Sunday, March 24

Second Round

The field narrows to 32 - four teams battle it out to keep their championship dreams alive.

Tickets on sale now!

Purchase all-session tickets today.

March Madness Tickets

Experience Columbia

We've got all the gracious charm you'd expect from a southern destination - nothing saccharine, just old-fashioned kindness. Experience our dynamite restaurants, vibrant downtown neighborhoods, and burgeoning craft beer scene. Come and see for yourself. Discover why Columbia SC is the hippest destination you've yet to discover.

  • Things to do in Columbia, SC.

    Things to Do

    Markets, history, adventure - more things to do than there are hours to do them.

    Things to Do

    Be sure to take in Columbia while you’re here. It’s a hot spot for all ages and interests. Every Saturday, we host Soda City, a Main Street Market. Be sure meander onto the nearby State House grounds and University of South Carolina campus. Just blocks from downtown, take a stroll along the Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park. There’s also fishing, kayaking, and hiking just minutes from the city center. For family fun, try out the Riverbanks Zoo, one of the nation’s top zoos. Or easily whittle away a few hours at the close by Columbia Art Museum, South Carolina State Museum, and Edventure Children’s Museum, some of the best museums in the Southeast.

    Experience Columbia SC
  • Restaurants in Columbia, SC.


    Dig into everything from southern comfort food to fresh and contemporary dining.


    Just down the road from Colonial Life Arena you’ll find yourself smack in the middle of everything. You’ll find over 50 restaurants and bars within walking distance. You can’t go wrong with a nice night out starting at Motor Supply or Coa in the Vista. Make a lunch pit stop at The Gourmet Shop or Publico while you’re exploring Five Points. Up all night reveling in your team’s victory? Ease into the morning with brunch at Café Strudel or 116 State just across the bridge in West Columbia. A sucker for sweets? The Devine Cinnamon Deli lives up to the hype.

    Experience Columbia SC
  • Sports bars in Columbia, SC.

    Sports Bars

    Beers, screens, and bar food so you don’t miss any of the action.

    Sports Bars

    Take in the game, celebrate your victory, or meet up with the entire gang at one our nearby sports bars. Follow the locals to Thirsty Fellow, just down the street from the arena. Or try out walkable establishments in the Vista like Carolina Ale House, Liberty Tap Room, and Hickory Tavern. They’ve got tons of screens and can handle a table full of cheering fans. Mosey on over to Main Street for some more options. You’ll find plenty of tv screens at Main Street Public House or our boutique bowling alley, The Grand on Main.

    Experience Columbia SC
  • Breweries in Columbia, SC.


    You can bet on a fun scene at our breweries - they're bursting with hometown pride.


    Columbia's brewery scene has been building for some time with staples like Conquest Brewing, River Rat Brewery, Swamp Cabbage Brewery, and Hunter-Gatherer Brewery. All located right around the corner from one another, their unique spaces carry a laid-back attitude with cornhole, giant jenga, and the like. Add in newbies like Columbia Craft and brewpubs like Old Mill Brewpub, Twisted Spur, and Craft & Draft (just to name a few) and there's no shortage of taps in the capital city.

    Experience Columbia SC
  • Hotels in Columbia, SC.


    We’ve got a long list of hotels smack in the middle of all the excitement.


    Explore dozens of hotels all about a mile from the Colonial Life Arena. Search options along Main Street and the State House, or look for spaces in the Vista Entertainment District near nightlife, restaurants, and shops. Easily walk or take a quick drive to the middle of the action. And whether you’re looking for a pool, free breakfast, pet-friendly options, or onsite parking, we have it in downtown Columbia.

    Search Nearby Hotels
  • Walkable Districts in Columbia, SC.

    Walkable Districts

    Stroll along our several distinct shopping and restaurant districts.

    Walkable Districts

    The Vista district is just steps away from the Colonial Life Arena. It boasts 40+ bars and restaurants, unique shopping, art galleries, and spas.

    Five Points Neighborhood is another go-to. You’ll find a variety of restaurants, late night college watering holes, and - up the road on Devine Street - the best boutique shopping in Columbia.

    Our revitalized Main Street is not to be missed. Check out our Soda City Market on Saturday morning, make a pit stop at a coffee shop, or score an outdoor table at one of the many restaurants along our tree-lined downtown.

    Experience Columbia SC

Get info on shuttles, parking garages, street closures, and flying in and out of Columbia.

Parking and Transportation