SEC Tournament brings economic hope to downtown Greenville

Local News

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — The SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament is back at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.

The tournament was the last major event to be held in Greenville in 2020 before the pandemic took over.

“It was the last event that we had before we shut down for COVID-19,” General Manager of The Well Beth Paul said.

“This time last year, we shut down almost completely,” Steve Boone, owner of Trio’s, said.

Boone said his restaurant benefits directly from events at “The Well.” He said the past year has been tough.

“It felt like we were coming out of it in October and then the numbers popped again. November dropped down. December was mediocre. January was terrible,” Boone said.

But now, the city is buzzing with new life.

“These types of tournaments, where people come in from out of town, they fill up the hotel rooms. They eat at downtown establishments. They visit retail stores,” Paul said.

“We’re excited mostly about this tournament this weekend. It’s the first big event that we’ve had,” Boone said.

The SEC kicked off the first game on Wednesday afternoon.

“There is a sense of optimism, I think, in the announcements with the new vaccine plan,” Paul said.

Those in town are taking note.

“I love the fact that everything is coming back as long as everyone is following the rules,” said Daniel Coll, a personal trainer in Greenville. “A lot of people went out of business, which I was sad to see, but it’s good to see things coming back and people are strong they’ll come back.”

The Well is focused on increasing safety precautions.

“When you come through the arena, you walk through a weapons detection system, you walk through a ticket scanner. There’s less human interaction than there was before,” Paul said.

She said they’re also utilizing pod seating and a no bag policy.

You can purchase tickets for the tournament online or at the box office.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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