Weekend Plans With Bon Secours Wellness Arena GM Beth Paul: Back In The Dance
Bon Secours Wellness Arena GM BETH PAUL is set to see her Greenville, S.C., venue host its first NCAA Tournament games this weekend since ’02. For 13 years, the state of South Carolina was ineligible to host NCAA events due to the Confederate flag being flown at the state capitol, but it was removed two years ago, and the NCAA lifted its ban. Paul stressed that having the tournament back means a great deal to the state -- evidenced by the arena being the first of the eight opening-round sites to sell out of tickets. Duke, UNC and South Carolina are all playing at Bon Secours this weekend. Paul: “The 15-year absence created a marketplace not only full of demand for tickets but also of enthusiasm and energy as a whole." She said the NCAA lifting the ban "really created an additional layer of enthusiasm.”
THE WELCOME BRIGADE: It’s a fun week but it is busy. Open practice started on Thursday and we had all eight teams practicing throughout the day from noon to 7:00pm. There was a good amount of opportunity behind that, fans who maybe were unable to purchase tickets were able to come out and see some great basketball. It was a free event to the public and that was important to us. Friday we tip off at 1:30 with Arkansas and Seton Hall. We had the SEC Women’s Tournament in here two weeks ago, then a full calendar of events the week in between, including a concert last Saturday night. But since Sunday it’s been all things basketball.
READY TO ROCK N’ ROLL: The SEC women's tourney gave us a really good warmup for the NCAA. The media requirements, and those types of details, that was a great experience and it was easy to carry over lessons learned. The requirements are certainly larger for the NCAA, but we have great hosts in Furman and the Southern Conference. So from an arena perspective we’re in really good shape. The Greenville community as a whole is excited to drive new customers to local businesses and we’re in very close proximity to downtown. This tournament can help provide opportunities that those businesses have not had for a longtime. It was icing on the cake for us to land South Carolina.
THE LONG WEEKEND: We’ll find out game times for Sunday probably late on Friday. Saturday will be a transition day where we’ll make some transitions back-of-house for locker assignments and things that like. All stuff that should be easily achievable in a day. And we’ll also host closed practices on Saturday for the advancing teams as well. I like to walk around during the games themselves. I like to talk to the guests and the fans. I try to stay out of my team’s way and let them do the jobs they’re great at, though I’m certainly available if they need me.
IN THE MEANTIME: If I have a free weekend I try to spend as much time with my family and kids as possible. I enjoy the outdoors. Greenville is in close proximity to lakes and mountains, and I enjoy playing golf. I also like going to live entertainment -- I’m always up for a concert or sporting event. TV-wise right now I’m really enjoying “BIG LITTLE LIES” on HBO with REESE WITHERSPOON and NICOLE KIDMAN. Atlanta and Charlotte are cities I love to visit and both are easy to get to from Greenville. If I’m going away for more than a week I generally head to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.