Carolina Coliseum

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Carolina Coliseum
Location701 Assembly Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
OwnerUniversity of South Carolina
OperatorUniversity of South Carolina
OpenedNovember 1968
ArchitectLyles, Bissett, Carlisle, and Wolff (LBC&W)
South Carolina Gamecocks (NCAA) (1968–2002; as backup venue, 2013–2014)
Columbia Inferno (ECHL) (2001–2008)

Carolina Coliseum is a 12,401-seat multi-purpose arena in Columbia, South Carolina, built in 1968 by the University of South Carolina. The Coliseum was the largest arena in South Carolina at the time of its completion. It was the home of the USC men's and women's basketball teams for many years as well as Columbia's main events venue until 2002, when the Colonial Life Arena (originally named Carolina Center), opened a block away on Greene Street. The Coliseum was once home to the Columbia Inferno hockey team, a franchisee of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), until poor ticket sales caused the Inferno to leave. The team planned to move to another venue, but it did not materialize.

The facility is also home to university classrooms with classes held in the lower levels. The high school commencement ceremonies of many high schools in the South Carolina Midlands are held annually in the arena as many school venues are too small for such ceremonies.

Prior to the building of the Coliseum, the Gamecocks had played in Carolina Fieldhouse from 1927 until it burned in 1968, and the Carolina Gymnasium (now the Longstreet Theater) prior to that.[1]

The Coliseum was the host of the NCAA Basketball Tournament East Regional in 1970. Until 2002, when Greenville's Bi-Lo Center served as host, it was the only time the tournament was played in South Carolina. The Metro Conference Men's Basketball Tournament was held here in 1989.

In 1977, the playing surface was renamed "Frank McGuire Arena" after then head basketball coach Frank McGuire. McGuire had been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame a few weeks earlier.

The Coliseum hosted 34 years of concerts by artists such as Louisiana's Hank Williams Jr. in '69, Jackson 5 in '71, The Doors (sans Jim Morrison) in '72, Macon's Allman Brothers Band in '73, Santana in '73, Ike & Tina Turner, UK's Electric Light Orchestra in 1974, Aerosmith in '76 and '86, Elvis Presley in '77 (Elvis died in '77), Jacksonville's Lynyrd Skynyrd in '77, Spartanburg's Marshall Tucker Band in '78, Bob Dylan in '78, Kiss in 1976 and 1979, Australia's AC/DC in 1979 and 1996, Alabama's Jimmy Buffett in 1979, Aussies Bee Gees in '79, UK's Elton John in 1980, The Eagles in 1973 and 1980, Atlanta Rhythm Section in '80, Blue Öyster Cult in '81, Prince in 1982, Van Halen in 1982 (with UK's After the Fire), Journey in '83, Canada's Rush in 1983, Houston's ZZ Top in 1983, Stevie Nicks in '83, Joan Jett in 1983, AC/DC Flick of the Switch tour 11/27/83, [2] UK's Duran Duran in 1984, The Grateful Dead in 1985, Bruce Springsteen in 1985, Eddie Murphy performed comedy there in '85, Alice Cooper, Texas' Edgar Winter, Ted Nugent, Barry Manilow, UK's Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi in '85 and 1989, UK's Ozzy Osbourne in '86, Run DMC in '86, Chapel Hill's James Taylor in '87, Tina Turner (with UK's Level 42) in '87, Def Leppard in '83 and '88, Aussies INXS in '88, Metallica with The Cult in '89, Mötley Crüe with Warrant in 1990, UK's Robert Plant with Atlanta's Black Crowes in '90, Athens' R.E.M. in '89, Gainesville's Tom Petty in '91, UK's Iron Maiden, Janet Jackson in 1990, Whitney Houston in '91, Garth Brooks in '92, Cleveland's Nine Inch Nails in '95 with Jim Rose Circus sideshow, R. Kelly in '95 with Coolio and Warren G, Alanis Morissette in '96, Smashing Pumpkins with Garbage in '96, No Doubt in '96 with UK's Bush (Bush came back there in '97), Widespread Panic from Athens in '96, The Wallflowers in '97, 311 in 1997, Goo Goo Dolls in '96 and 1999, Tallahassee's Creed in 2000, and many others throughout the years. Florence County's Josh Turner played the Coliseum in 2011.

Jackson 5 1971 tour: The Jackson 5 Second National Tour. Aerosmith 1976 tour: Rocks Tour, 1986 Tour: Done with Mirrors Tour. Lynyrd Skynyrd 1977 tour: Street Survivors Tour (their final concert was in Greenville, SC that year before their plane crash). Bob Dylan 1978 tour: Bob Dylan World Tour 1978. KISS 1979 tour: Dynasty Tour. AC/DC 1979 tour: Highway to Hell Tour, AC/DC 1996 tour: Ballbreaker World Tour. Bee Gees 1979 tour: Spirits Having Flown Tour Elton John 1980 tour: 1980 World Tour. Prince 1982 tour: 1999 Tour. Van Halen 1982 tour: Hide Your Sheep Tour. Stevie Nicks 1983 tour: The Wild Heart Tour (ended in Columbia). Journey 1983 tour: Frontiers Tour. Def Leppard 1983 tour: Pyromania World Tour. Bruce Springsteen 1985 tour: Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Ozzy Osbourne 1986 tour: The Ultimate Sin Tour. Bon Jovi 1985 tour 7800 Fahrenheit, 1989 tour: New Jersey Syndicate Tour. Metallica 1989 tour: Damaged Justice. Mötley Crüe 1990 tour: Dr. Feelgood World Tour '89–'90. Janet Jackson 1990 tour: Rhythm Nation World Tour 1990. Nine Inch Nails 1995 tour: Self Destruct Tour. Garbage 1996 tour: Garbage tour (opened for the Smashing Pumpkins)

As recently as 2009/10 the Coliseum was used as a tour rehearsal space for acts that included Elton John, John Mayer and Billy Joel. Although it is an older facility, its many positive technical attributes have made it a desirable venue for tour rehearsals.

The Coliseum is university owned but it is managed by Comcast Spectacor subsidiary Spectra. A conflict with a Miranda Lambert concert at Colonial Life Arena resulted in the USC Athletics Department moving the January 17, 2013 women's basketball game against Louisiana State University to the Coliseum. This was the first use of the facility as the official backup venue for the USC teams since play began in Colonial Life Center.[3]

Officials subsequently announced that no more games will be played in the Coliseum. In the fall of 2014, 3000 seats were removed and the arena floor was converted into two practice courts for the Gamecock men's and women's teams. The old Coliseum playing surface was auctioned in January for $23,215.[4] [5]


  1. ^ Aiken, Ron. "At 40, Does the Carolina Coliseum Have a Future?". Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Gamecocks to Host LSU at Carolina Coliseum". University of South Carolina Athletics Department. November 1, 2012.
  4. ^ Shain, Andrew (July 14, 2014). "Carolina Coliseum to be converted for use by USC hoops teams". The State. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  5. ^ Standera, Renee (July 25, 2014). "USC sells historical seats as Carolina Coliseum is reconfigured". WIS TV. Retrieved 28 January 2015.

Coordinates: 33°59′37″N 81°01′57″W / 33.99361°N 81.03250°W / 33.99361; -81.03250