Asheville’s SoCon returns, bringing college hoops excitement, Downtown Dribble and more

The Southern Conference Basketball Championships comes to Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center March 1-5. All weekend, men’s and women’s college teams from the Southeast will battle it out for the championship title.

The SoCon, as it is called, is an exciting event for local fans as well as out-of-towners who visit Asheville for the tournament. Find the tournament schedule here.

Here is a roundup of need-to-know information about special events and parking/street closure impacts.


Want tickets?

SoCon court

For ticket information, visit the U.S. Cellular Center box office or go online to the USCC website.


Special events

KidsFest & Downtown Dribble: 9 to 11:30 a.m. March 3 starting in Pack Square. KidsFest begins at 9 a.m. with games and interactive activities for children. Kids will be able to play basketball as well as talk to mascots. Then the whole crew marches from Pack Square down College Street, turning right on Haywood Street to the U.S. Cellular Center to kick off the basketball conference.

Expect some 600 kids and families along with pep bands and mascots to stroll through downtown. Asheville Police will conduct rolling street closures along the way. As the group heads to the U.S. Cellular Center, fans line the route and join in with as many as 1,000 to 1,500 marching through the streets of Asheville. Kids signed up for the Dribble will gain entry to the first two games Saturday free of charge, tickets required for adults.

“People watch and enjoy and some people decide to join in,” said City Economic Development Director Sam Powers. “That’s become a tradition for some of the fans. They march and then go in and enjoy the first game.”


JamFest: This outdoor tailgating party happens from 1:30-3:45 p.m. March 4 at 68 Haywood St., right across from the U.S. Cellular Center. Local musicians Joe Lasher Jr. and Lyric will perform and there will be food and beverage vendors.



Parking garages

Download the free Asheville App on your Android or Apple device for its Find Parking feature to get real-time information on parking spaces available at the City’s four downtown parking garages. You can also check this USCC parking link for more parking information. There are also two Buncombe County garages a short walk away, including  new garage that opened just this week at the county’s new Health and Human Services Addition at 40 Coxe Ave.


Parking lot and street closures

 Please see the map below as a handy guide as well.


  • Flint Street will be closed Saturday-Sunday (March 2-3).
  • Hiawassee Street will be closed Friday through Monday (March 2-5).
  •  During KidsFest March 3, Pack Square north and south between Broadway and Market streets will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon. This will also impact some ART bus routes, so visit the Service Alerts webpage for information on bus detours.
  •  Look out for rolling street closures from Pack Square to College Street and Haywood Street leading to the U.S. Cellular Center from 11 to 11:30 a.m. March 3.


The City will have three parking lot closures to accommodate the teams Feb. 28-March 6. The lots will be clearly marked and your car could be towed if you park in them during this time. These include:

  • Cherry Street gravel lot at 75 Cherry St. North.
  •  Lot 18 at 63 Page Ave.
  •  Lot 17 at 20 OHenry Ave.
  • Lots 13 and14 on Rankin Avenue. Lot passholders may park for free in the Civic Center or Rankin parking garages during this time.