US Quidditch Cup
Inspired by the Harry Potter novels, Quidditch has become much more than an imaginary game, drawing crowds from big-name universities to smaller intramural teams. It’s a mixed gender contact sport that's a cross between rugby, basketball, and lacrosse. In 2016, Columbia hosted the US Quidditch Cup, which saw the top 60 quidditch teams from around the country competing to determine the national champion. The national tournament brought an estimated 5,000 people each day and generated more than $850,000 in local spending. Watch the video. Columbia hosted the sport again in 2017 for the South Regional Championship and hopes to play witness to another national competition soon.
Columbia Quarry Crusher Run
The Quarry Crusher Run Series challenges runners to run down massive declines into the earth and straight back up to the top, while getting a look into exclusive landscapes that are typically closed to the general public. It all started with the Columbia Quarry (occurring in April), with locations ranging from San Diego, CA to Baltimore, MD. The Columbia Quarry Crusher Run remains to be the largest event, descending runners to 475’ below sea level. As the official Columbia SC Sports team, we work with event organizers for the Columbia event, and even sponsored the entire series in its 2017 season.
Competitive Cheer & Dance
Travelling cheer and dance competitions abound in Columbia SC. Often showcasing their talents at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (CMCC), these attendees and their families stay in hotels and dine in restaurants across the region for multiple nights, creating an economic impact for the local community. The CMCC transforms the column-free exhibit hall into a pseudo-theater with a stage, fan seating, and backstage area that have been the perfect spot for nationally recognized competitions like DanceMakers, Inc. Our team helps sell Columbia as a cheer and dance destination, plus helps to facilitate room blocks, dining recommendations, and logistics with venues like the CMCC.
5K/10K/Half & Full Marathons
With a climate conducive to mostly sunny days and warm temperatures, Columbia SC is a hub for races. From long-standing traditions like the Governor’s Cup Road Race to big-time fundraisers like the Palmetto Health Walk for Life & Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon, we’ve learned that people will travel to Columbia for quality races. Many take to the vibrant streets of the city to run past historical sites and through the bustle of locals on a Saturday morning. Others mix up the view and get lost in thoughts amidst fresh air and cool waters, right on the outskirts of downtown. Once the running is complete, attendees and meeting planners alike celebrate with after-parties at creative venues that are sure to be a rollicking good time.
Lacrosse & Soccer
Affordable hotels, top-notch family-friendly restaurants, and a manageable urban scene make Columbia a desirable destination for lacrosse and soccer teams that have plenty to please. With so much to see and do, players (and their tribe of fans) can look forward to exploring this capital city with a college town vibe beyond the main event. Bonus: wide-open venues, like The Fields at Saluda Shoals Park, offer amenities that will keep the coaches happy too.
Columbia hosted the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association playoffs in 2016, showcasing our city’s very own all-female league, the Columbia QuadSquad. By turning the CMCC Exhibit Hall into a derby rink, equipped with stadium seating, we hosted teams and fans from across the world for three days. Not only do unique events like this showcase the versatility of Columbia’s venues, they allow us to show off the revitalization of Columbia’s vibrant culinary and cultural scenes.
Columbia also plays host to other unique sporting events such as card tournaments. The Mid-Atlantic Bridge Conference (MABC) is made up of District Six and District Seven of the American Contract Bridge League. District Seven includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Eastern Tennessee, while District Six consists of Virginia, Washington DC and most of Maryland. Columbia has hosted a Winter and Summer sectional as well as other events for the MABC for the past eight years, and will welcome the seven day Regional Tournament in 2020.
The best boomerang throwers in the country came to Columbia in 2017 for the U.S. National Boomerang Championship. This three-day championship was packed with various competitions, such as a trick catch, fast catch, long distance, and more. Each day had The Fields at Saluda Shoals Park packed with competitors, family, and fans of the sport. This sport is ever-growing in popularity, boasting a US National Team and World Championships.