TOP PRODUCING SPORTS EVENTS 2015
The Charleston area sports travel calendar consists of some 250 sports events a year. Calendar of Events. The top producing events in economic dollars are listed below:
The Medal of Honor Bowl Game and Event Week is a post-season collegiate all-star game, showcasing the nation’s top NFL draft-eligible football players. The Game is held at The Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium. Some 94 players and over 150 NFL personnel / scouts arrive one week prior to game day for an entire week of practices and host committee sponsored-events. The inaugural event was held on January 11, 2014, with 8,000 in attendance. The 2nd annual event is scheduled for January 10, 2015, at 2:30pm and will be televised on NBC Sports (96mm viewers). www.mohbowl.com
The Charleston Marathon road race includes a full, ½ marathon, 5K and bike ride. The 5th annual event will be held on January 17, 2015, and will include up to 8,500 registrants. This event has 65-75% visitors each year and begins in downtown Charleston with a post-event celebration at Park Circle in North Charleston. www.charlestonmarathon.com
Presented by Dunlop Sport, Family Circle Junior Tennis Cup is one of only two junior tennis tournaments in America to offer top players the opportunity to compete for a wildcard invitation into a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier Event. The Family Circle Tennis Center serves as the tournament’s host site, with additional matches held throughout the region. Athletes include 350+ regionally and nationally ranked junior tennis players. It will be held on February 14-15, 2015. www.familycirclecup.com
Each year the Charleston Battery Professional Soccer organization invites 3-4 MLS teams to participate in the Carolina Challenge Cup, a prestigious week-long round-robin tournament. Alongside, is the Charleston Battery Challenge Cup, which includes 100-120 Elite and MLS Academy teams from throughout the US to compete for three days. Dates for the Carolina Challenge Cup are, February 21, 25 and 28, 2015, and the Charleston Battery Challenge Cup will be held February 20-22, 2015.
The Charleston Cup is an annual gymnastics invitational that includes 1,500 athletes and their families from across the country. Participants have included foreign teams as well as US National Team members. Held at the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex each year, it includes team and individual competitions for girls up to high school age. It will celebrate 26 years strong on February 27 – March 1, 2015. www.charlestoncup.com
The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate Golf Tournament is hosted each year by the Bulls Bay Golf Club and features some of the best collegiate men’s golf programs in the country. College of Charleston plays host each year to some 15 teams representing powerhouse conferences such as ACC and SEC. Will celebrate its 11th year anniversary on March 22 -24, 2015. www.bullsbaygolf.com
The Cooper River Bridge 10K Run includes world-class competition in a unique setting with unparalleled participant satisfaction. Recently ranked #4 in the US and #18 in the world as the largest 10K road race. Up to 40,000 annual participants. The 38th annual event will take place on March 28, 2015. www.bridgerun.com
The Family Circle Cup is the largest women’s only tennis tournament in the world, and Family Circle Magazine is the longest running title sponsor of a sporting event in all of professional tennis, worldwide. Charleston welcomes close to 100,000 spectators and more than 70 world-class, women athletes to participate in the excitement of this WTA premier tournament. The 43rd annual event will take place on April 4-12, 2015. www.familycirclecup.com
The Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week consists of 278 boats competing in the largest regatta of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Includes some 2,500 participants, representing 27 states and seven countries competing in the Charleston Harbor. The 20th annual event will be held on April 16-19, 2015. www.charlestonraceweek.com
The East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival is organized each year by the Charleston County PRC and showcases some of the fastest growing outdoor activities including; stand-up paddleboarding, slack lining, archery, disc golf, mountain biking. The traditional kayaking, canoeing and climbing are held along with clinics, demos, film festival, etc. Over 2,000 participants each year and the 25th annual event will be held on April 17-19, 2015. www.ccprc.com
The Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series (CSTS) is a premier sprint challenge for tri-athletes and held at James Island County Park. Celebrating its 25th year, the five-race series will be held on May 31, June 21, July 12, and July 26, and Championship Race on August 9, 2015. Each race includes 300+ athletes, with many visiting from outside the area. Over 30,000 athletes have raced in this swim-bike-run series since it began in 1991. www.CharlestonCountyParks.com
Charleston Watersports Week is a new sports development initiative of the Charleston Area Sports Commission. The inaugural event included ten days of continuous activities on the Lowcountry's greatest asset, water! Over 50 businesses, organizations and individuals provide a number of “on the water” options for visitors ready for a get-away vacation such as:
COMPETITIVE SPORTS – The Chucktown Showdown is a Stand-Up Paddleboarding event with over 200 elite and recreational racers. Held at Brittlebank Park.
RECREATIONAL SPORTS – Dragon Boat Cancer Survivors Celebration Day consists of six visiting teams at Trophy Lakes on Johns Island.
LEISURE ACTIVITIES – Excursions, lessons, exhibitions, tours and cruises throughout the Charleston region.
The second annual event is scheduled for September 11-20, 2015, and will include a Powerboat Festival held at North Charleston Riverfront Park. www.watersportsweek.com
GILDAN’s Charleston Classic is a NCAA Men’s Basketball Invitational Tournament held at the College of Charleston’s TD Arena and organized by ESPN Events. Includes eight teams playing 12 games during a four-day weekend. ESPN purchases 500+ hotel rooms alone for the visiting teams, coaches, media, etc for 4-5 night stays. The number of visiting fans varies for each school. The 8th annual event will be held on November 19-22, 2015. www.charlestonclassic.com
The Carolina Invitational grows each year in the number of High School Girl teams competing in this four-day holiday invitational. The 4th annual event had 84 teams, in which 64 were from outside the Charleston area. Teams usually stay 3-4 nights. It is now the 2nd largest all-girls tournament in the US. The 5th annual event will take place on December 27-30, 2015. www.carolinainvitational.net.
Compiled by the Charleston Area Sports Commission, last updated: January 2015.