Basketball tournament brings economic growth to Greenville

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–A huge weekend in women’s basketball in Greenville. The tip-off meaning more than just some exciting games.

The SEC Women’s Tournament can bring some major benefits to the city. It puts Greenville on the national stage and helps stimulate the economy. This is the third year Greenville has hosted this event and it will be here in the 2021 season too.

Those in the community are excited to showcase the Bon Secours Wellness Arena and the city, and say this can open the door to more opportunity.

“It’s very exciting it brings all the former fans out and all the former basketball players that played,” fan Thomas Gray said.

Thomas and Karen Gray came to see their goddaughter play.

“Yeah shes playing with Vanderbilt,” Karen Gray said.

As former basketball players themselves they say this is great for the city.

“Bringing this tournament here is bringing a lot of excitement to the city its just adding onto the excitement that’s already here,” Karen Gray said.

David Montgomery with VisitGreenvilleSC and said that’s exactly the atmosphere they want in the city.

“I think a lot of people who live in Greenville take a great sense of pride in who we are as a destination and love showing it off to their families and friends,” Montgomery said.

They’ve helped make the city a destination for fans too. With team logos on sidewalks, on banners, and a massive basketball right on main street.

“It exposes many people to the destination who may have never come to Greenville,” Montgomery said.

14 teams will touch 10 hotels and bring in thousands of fans, along with $3.2-million in revenue. People like Casey Lipscomb, marketing manager for Bon Secours Wellness Arena, are responsible for getting the main stage ready.

“We start planning next years tournament the second this one leaves,” Lipscomb said.

She said the SEC Tournament puts the arena and the city on a national stage.

“It’s a major major sports conference so that’s a really really high profile event,” Lipscomb said.

Putting on a successful tournament, means success for everyone.

“Just because of our success in hosting the SEC has led us to opportunities with the NCAA,” Montgomery said.

“Anytime you feel at home somewhere you’re going to want to continue to come back,” Lipscomb said.

Tickets still available at the box office and online. If you do plan to come leave yourself plenty of travel and parking time and make sure to double check the arena’s clear bag policy.

The Greenville Police Department released this statemnt about traffic, parking, and safety surrounding the event.

GPD ensures adequate staffing of officers for big events such as the SEC tournament. There will be officers directing traffic and operating traffic boxes to assist with the flow of motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic near the BSWA. People need to prepare to encounter traffic congestion and delays due to a large number of attendees coming to watch the tournament, and others coming to simply enjoy downtown for the weekend. When parking and leaving your car unattended, be mindful to hide any valuables in the trunk and lock your doors. Be mindful of where you park so that you can easily find your car at the conclusion of your activities.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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