Bon Secours Wellness Arena
in Greenville, South Carolina, is as fine an indoor venue as you will find. A testament to that is 2017’s lineup of events there, including the first two rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament and the USA Karate National Championships and U.S. Team Trials.
But Bon Secours Wellness Arena doesn’t roll off the tongue, does it? That’s why locals refer to the facility as The Well. It’s a fitting name of affection given that all is well in Greenville
—a fact made clear during last week’s Connect Sports Executive Advisory Board meeting there.
Here’s some easy-to-digest information about a city that’s transformed completely in the past 25 years.
It is hungry for sports events.
After the NCAA moved seven championship events out of North Carolina this fall, it awarded Greenville early-round action of the marquee basketball tournament. The city, which last hosted March Madness more than a decade ago because of a statewide ban over the Confederate flag, has responded with an explosion in ticket sales. Jeff Jarnecke, NCAA director of championships and alliances, reports only 2,500 seats remain for the March event, making a sellout a near-certainty.
You will eat well there.
After a long day of tournament action or board meetings, Greenville can feed the masses. There are 110 restaurants on and around Main Street, most of which are local. Rick Erwin has two high-end establishments (West End Grille and Nantucket Seafood) within three blocks of each other. Soby’s is worth the hype and has great options for young athletes. Not to be outdone, Pomegranate on Main’s desserts are homemade by the owner’s wife at 4 a.m. daily. That’s home cooking!
More sweet spots are coming.
Just as Greenville doesn’t resemble itself from a quarter-century ago, it is clear more positive change is coming. An Aloft opened last December, and five new hotels are in the works. By the end of 2018, the downtown should be sporting about 2,200 rooms while the city will approacing 10,000 rooms overall. One particularly exciting project: Grand Bohemian Hotel recently signed off on a new property overlooking the famed Falls Park on the Reedy with the bridge you always hear people talking about.
Falls Park is a spectacular green space in downtown. Soon, it will have company. A 22-acre park has been approved along the Reedy River and Swamp Rabbit Trail on an old public works campus. Multiple multiuse fields are involved in the project.
Photo Credit: VisitGreenvilleSC