Staley: 2019 NCAA Tournament Huge for Columbia
Earlier this week, it was announced that the 2019 NCAA men's basketball tournament will host one of its 1st and 2nd round regional sites at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia.
Economically, it's huge for the city. Officials predict the event could gross between 10.5-10.6 million dollars over the tournament weekend for Columbia between restaurants, hotels, etc.
There is some bad news for South Carolina basketball fans, however. The men would not be able to play there if they made the tournament due to NCAA rules regarding home-court advantage.
It could also impact the women's tournament that year as well. If the women were in the top 16 (they've been a #1 seed the past four years), they would not get to host at Colonial Life Arena like they have the past four years due to the men's tournament taking place.
While that would be a downer if it happens, South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley said the tournament coming to Columbia is still a huge win.
"For the city and, for what's been happening, with both programs," said Staley. "We've become a basketball town and I wanna share our town with whatever programs are coming here so that they can that this is an incredible city, they're gonna have a great time, and Colonial Life Arena's gonna rock like no other."