The Southern Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships return to Asheville for its fourth-straight year, with several special events surrounding the 2015 festivities.
Highlighting the extracurricular events is SoCon Overtime, a showcase of local Asheville restaurants and breweries at the Grove Arcade on Friday evening from 6 – 9 pm, back after a successful debut in 2014. The event is free to the public and SoCon fans, and attendees can purchase tokens to sample the food and beverage offerings. Musical groups The Stoney Creek Boys, Haywood Gap, Carol Rifkin and Friends, Midnight Plowboys, Peg Twisters, The Buckner Family and Crooked Pine will serve as entertainment for the evening. SoCon Overtime is sponsored by the Folk Heritage Committee.
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, the annual Buncombe County ARC 5K will take place.
New to the Championships this year are Theme Days, with each day of the tournament taking on a different focus area. Details of each day are below:
Opening Day, Thursday, March 5
Join us for opening day of the 2015 SoCon Basketball Championships at Kimmel Arena and enjoy special opening day ticket prices. In partnership with Eblen Charities and Hoops Against Hunger, join the fight against childhood hunger by bringing a non-perishable, easy to prepare food item to donate to Hoops Against Hunger. Learn more about this program at www.hoopsagainsthunger.net.
Education Day and Educator Appreciation Night – Friday, March 6
FREE field trip admission for nearly 3,000 local elementary school students for the 11am game. Education Day is an Asheville SoCon tradition and fan favorite, as it provides a great opportunity to expose the young people in our community to student athletes and high energy collegiate championship play. Local private schools, homeschooling groups and area educators will receive special pricing incentives to attend the afternoon and evening games.
Heroes Day – Saturday, March 7
Special ticket prices are available to first responders, military staff and veterans. In partnership with local fire and law enforcement departments, the concourse will feature a community safety fair. Emergency personnel from several departments will be on hand with Identa-kid kits, McGruff the Crime Dog, Sparky the Fire Dog, information on smoke detectors and family emergency action plans and more. The day will also feature the US Air Force Color Guard and a performance or two by the Asheville Fire Fighter Pipe & Drum band.
Family Day – Sunday, March 8
Special family-pack pricing incentives on tickets and food. Special pricing and activities for local youth sports teams. In partnership with the YMCA, Y staff will offer fun fitness focused activities and games on the concourse throughout the day.
Pack the House – Monday, March 9
Special "locals only" pricing. Food and beverage specials. A pre-game concert, and a little bit of Asheville on the concourse will make this championship game the place to be on Monday night. Help “pack the house” for the nationally televised Monday night men’s championship game on ESPN2.
For more information about each event, the tournament or ticket sales, please visit SoConTravel.com.