The Southern Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships return to Asheville for its fifth-straight year, with several new special events surrounding the 2016 festivities.
Highlighting the extracurricular events is BBQ, Beer & Basketball on Monday, Mar. 7, from 5:30 – 7:45 pm, on the concourse at the US Cellular Center. Attendees will be able to sample BBQ and Beer from Asheville’s most popular restaurants and breweries, including Luella’s, Buxton Hall, Doc Brown’s, Bonfire, Precision Palate and Dickey’s for BBQ and Catawba Brewery, Oskar Blues, Highland Brewing, Hi Wire and Pisgah Brewery for beer. Tickets to BBQ, Beer & Basketball must be purchased as an add-on to their Championship game ticket, through TicketMaster.com or the US Cellular Center box office. Cost for the event is $15 for full access and $10 for those under 21 or designated drivers.
The Downtown Dribble returns on Saturday, with approximately 500 kids dribbling through the streets of Asheville. Each kid will receive a free ticket to the first men’s game on Saturday at the US Cellular Center. Prior to the Downtown Dribble will be KidsFest, located in Pack Square, beginning at 9 am. KidsFest will incorporate kid-friendly activities with healthy lifestyle exhibits, and will be co-hosted by the YMCA of Western NC and iheart radio.
The newest addition to the 2016 Championships is the first ever SoCon Teddy Bear toss, also on Saturday during halftime of the Noon game. Attendees are encouraged to make a small donation to Mission Children’s Hospital and in return, will receive a stuffed animal to throw on the court during the game. Bears thrown will be donated back to Mission Children’s Hospital and provided to kids visiting the hospital for treatments.
Details for events surrounding the 2016 Southern Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships can be found below:
Education Days– Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4
The Southern Conference will be playing host to local elementary school children in Asheville and the surrounding region for the 11:30 am women’s quarterfinal round game on Thursday, March 3 and the 11 am women’s semifinal round game on Friday, March 4.
Downtown Dribble and KidsFest – Saturday, March 5
Pack Square in Downtown Asheville will be populated by games, activities, bands, cheerleaders and mascots, as well as healthy lifestyle exhibits and interactives for children. KidsFest will begin at 9 am and conclude at 11 am, with the start of the fourth annual Downtown Dribble. Each kid participating in the Downtown Dribble will receive a free t-shirt and basketball and participate in a dribble parade from Pack Square to the U.S. Cellular Center. Participants in the Downtown Dribble and KidsFest will also receive free admission to the men’s basketball quarterfinal round session at Noon.
SoCon Teddy Bear Toss – Saturday, March 5, 12:00 Game
Make a small donation to Mission Children's Hospital and you will receive a stuffed animal to throw on the court during the 2016 SoCon Teddy Bear toss. Bears thrown will be donated to Mission Children's Hospital and provided to kids visiting the hospital for treatments. 1,500 bears are available and ready to put a smile on the face of a child. Mission Children’s Hospital has 130 beds, averages 3,000 patient admissions to its pediatric inpatient units, 4,500 outpatient pediatric surgeries and nearly 14,000 pediatric emergency department visits annually. Each year, approximately 700 ill and premature newborns receive life-saving care in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Mission Children’s Hospital is a member of Mission Health. The toss will be at halftime at the 12:00 game.
Wells Fargo Night - Saturday, March 5
Wells Fargo customers will be able to show their Wells Fargo debit cards for $5 off a regular price adult ticket on Saturday night, March 5th. Wells Fargo been a supporter of the SoCon Basketball Championships since its return to Asheville in 2012. The first 2,000 attendees will also receive a free Wells Fargo basketball stress ball.
When the games end each day, the action in Asheville will be heating up off the court. Local bars, restaurants and breweries participating in SoCon Overtime will offer musical entertainment, as well as drink and food specials during SoCon 2016.
Basketball, BBQ & Beer – Monday, March 7
The pre-game indoor tailgate party will take place in the concourse area of the U.S. Cellular Center. The event will give patrons an opportunity to sample fare from various Asheville-Area barbeque restaurants and breweries. Tickets for the event will be $15 or $10 for designed drivers and those under the age of age 21. Those attending the event will also need to possess a ticket for Monday night’s championship game, which will take place at 9 pm.
For more information about each event, the tournament or ticket sales, please visit SoConTravel.com.