Each of Columbia's venues shines, but none more brightly than the Colonial Life Arena. It's the largest arena in South Carolina and the 10th largest on-campus basketball facility in the nation.
This arena was chosen in 2019 to host rounds 1 and 2 of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, resulting in an overall paid attendance of 47,977 and making it the highest-attended regional tournament in the US. Columbia rose to the occasion by welcoming countless visitors to the city. Public art pieces were installed and around 20 events were hosted around town, including a Fan Fest at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center next door to Colonial Life Arena.
Designed for Fans
With the built-in fanbase of 35,000 proud Gamecocks, most of them living within walking distance, making the Colonial Life Arena experience special is a top priority. The arena can host 18,000 fans in comfort and help them feel like they're part of the action the whole way. The four-sided video scoreboard, plush and comfortable seating, and amazing acoustics combine for an unbeatable fan experience.
Beyond the event itself, the arena and parking lots were laid out with fans in mind. We made it easy to find parking, your seat, and even local favorites in the concession stands.
Designed for Teams & for the Media
As home to Gamecock basketball (including the perennially ranked, two-time NCAA Basketball Champion Lady Gamecocks), the Colonial Life Arena is ready to welcome media personnel from across the country. The staff is well-versed in what the media needs, and offers solutions for broadcasting, press audio, interview areas, press rooms, and more.
The arena also features multiple locker rooms, star rooms, and a green room/dining room, so we're ready to welcome any and all teams.
...In a Vibrant City
Columbia's venues are integrated into the city and the university to an astounding degree. Located right in the heart of the city, the Colonial Life Arena is less than a minute's walk to nearby restaurants and a mere five-minute walk to the Vista, one of Columbia's best entertainment districts. It may be home to Carolina Basketball, but welcomes entertainers of all calibers, from Paul McCartney to monster truck rallys.
Relax & Play
What suits your fancy? Less than a mile from the Colonial Life Arena, you'll find axe throwing, escape rooms, historical tours, museums, arcades, weekly farmers markets, beautiful riverwalks, and live music.
Go just a little further afield - about 2 miles - and you'll find the Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens (one of the best in the nation), Devine Street for boutiques and restaurants, the Bull Street District for Columbia's local minor league baseball team, and Five Points for nightlife, unique retailers, and over 100 years of history.
Wine & Dine
Much like the capital city itself, Columbia's food and drink scene keeps you on your toes in the best possible ways.
Whether in the Vista, Main Street, Five Points, the Devine Street District, the Bull Street District or even West Columbia, you'll find global cuisine in everything from hole-in-the-wall joints with surprisingly good food to upscale dining (also with astoundingly good food). Columbia's college bars, breweries, tap rooms, wine bars, and cocktail bars each feature unique menus offering the tried and true plus some options you wouldn't expect.
Travel & Stay
Between Columbia Metropolitan Airport (just seven miles from downtown Columbia) and I-20, I-26 and, !-77 intersecting the city, it's easy to get here - we're just 3.5 hours to Atlanta and 1 hour to Charlotte. Staying here may be the only thing easier: we have more than a dozen hotels within a mile of the Colonial Life Arena for a variety of affordable options.
Looking to hold a non-basketball event?
Colonial Life Arena, Williams-Brice Stadium, Founders Park and Segra Park have everything you need and are all close to dining, entertainment, and accommodations. We've played host to major stadium tours from Beyoncé & Jay-Z, U2 and Kenny Chesney.