Your guide to sports teams in Columbia, SC

From the Columbia Fireflies to Gamecocks football, we’re sharing all details of Columbia, SC’s sports teams.

Gamecock womens basketball parade.jpg

| Photo by COLAtoday team

Whether you’re a sports fanatic — or just look good in Gamecock garnet — when it comes to sports, Columbia has no shortage of teams to support. Our city is home to some of the most loyal fans in the country — we’re not joking.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about sports teams in Columbia, so whether you’re already a devoted local sports fan or you’re new to the area and interested in learning more about Soda City’s teams, we hope it can serve as a valuable resource.

🏈 University of South Carolina Gamecocks Football (NCAA) | Est. 1892

The Gamecocks football team is part of the NCAA’s Eastern Division in the SEC. Some of the team’s biggest rivals include Clemson and Georgia. Additionally, the team has competed in 25 bowl games and holds a bowl record of 10-15.

Where they play: Williams-Brice Stadium

  • Max. capacity ~77,500
  • Opened in October 1934
  • Has also hosted musical performances by Beyoncé, Metallica, George Strait, Paul McCartney, and Alan Jackson

Mascot: Cocky the Gamecock

  • A fighting rooster
  • First introduced in 1980 — after The Rooster in 1971 and Big Spur in 1974

Team colors: Garnet and black

  • Usually wears garnet at home events and white when playing away
  • Has a black alternate kit
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Led an undefeated season in 1933
  • Won a conference title in 1969
  • Former USC running back George Rogers won the Heisman Trophy in 1980
  • Won a division title in 2010
  • Celebrated three back-to-back 11-win seasons from 2011-2013

📅 Stay tuned for the team’s 2023 schedule.

🏀 University of South Carolina Gamecocks Women’s Basketball (NCAA) | Est. 1974

The women’s basketball team began playing as a club in 1967 without any uniforms or budget. Since then, lots has changed. Now, Carolina’s women’s basketball team plays in the SEC and is coached by Dawn Staleynamed 2022’s best coach in the nation and winner of the Naismith Award. The team has 18 NCAA tournament appearances and has seen 10+ former players go on to play in the WNBA.

Where they play: Colonial Life Arena

  • Max. capacity of 18,000
  • Opened in November 2002
  • Has also hosted several concerts like Zac Brown Band, Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, and Weezer

Mascot: Cocky the Gamecock

  • A fighting rooster
  • First introduced in 1980 — after The Rooster in 1971 and Big Spur in 1974

Team colors: Garnet and black

  • Wears a white kit at home events and a garnet kit when playing away
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Conference tournament champs in 1986, 1988, 1989, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021
  • Conference regular season champs in 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020, and 2022
  • NCAA tournament champs in 2017 and 2022

📅 See the team’s schedule.

🏀 University of South Carolina Gamecocks Men’s Basketball (NCAA) | Est. 1908

The men’s basketball team began playing in 1908, but is widely known for its Frank McGuire era (1965–1980). During that time, the team went undefeated in its regular season in 1970, was crowned ACC Tournament champions in 1971, and had three consecutive Sweet 16 appearances from 1971 to 1973. Now, Carolina’s men’s basketball team plays in the SEC and is coached by Lamont Paris — who was named head coach on March 21, 2022.

Where they play: Colonial Life Arena

  • Max. capacity of 18,000
  • Opened in November 2002
  • Has also hosted several concerts like Zac Brown Band, Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, and Weezer

Mascot: Cocky the Gamecock

  • A fighting rooster
  • First introduced in 1980 — after The Rooster in 1971 and Big Spur in 1974

Team colors: Garnet and black

  • Wears a white kit at home events and a garnet kit when playing away
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Conference champs in 1997
  • NCAA Tournament appearances in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2004, and 2017
  • The team made it to the Final Four in 2017, before losing to Gonzaga 77-73.
  • SEC East Divison Co-Champions in 2009

📅 See the team’s schedule.

University of South Carolina Gamecocks Baseball (NCAA) | Est. 1892

USC’s baseball team has played in the Eastern Division of the SEC since 1992. With 33 NCAA tournament appearances and as one of six teams in the NCAA to win back-to-back titles, they’re widely considered one of the best teams in college baseball. Currently, Carolina is coached by former UNC grad + player Mark Kingston, who started in 2017 after Chad Holbrook resigned.

Where they play: Founders Park

  • Opened in February 2009
  • Max. capacity of ~8,200 or 6,600 seated

Mascot: Cocky the Gamecock

  • A fighting rooster
  • First introduced in 1980 — after The Rooster in 1971 and Big Spur in 1974

Team colors: Garnet and black

Major accomplishments:

  • NCAA tournament champions in 2010 and 2011
  • 18-time NCAA regional champs (most recently in 2018)
  • Conference division champs in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2011, 2012, and 2016
  • Six College World Series appearances
  • Holds the NCAA record for consecutive wins (22) in the national tournament

📅 See the team’s 2023 schedule.

Columbia Fireflies (MiLB) | Est. 2016

Professional baseball in Soda City dates back to 1892 and minor league baseball dates back to 1982, with the Capital City Bombers. When the Bombers moved from Columbia to Greenville in 2004, Columbia was without a minor league team until the Savannah Sand Knats relocated to the area in 2016 and rebranded to the Fireflies. Currently, the Fireflies are affiliated with the Kansas City Royals and play in the MiLB’s Single-A class Carolina League.

Where they play: Segra Park

  • Max. capacity ~9,000
  • Opened in April 2016 as the Spirit Communications Park and was renamed to Segra Park in January 2019
  • Hosted the United Music Festival featuring hip-hop performers like Flo Rida and Nelly in 2018.

Mascot: Mason the Firefly

  • Introduced in April 2016
  • The mascot’s name is derived from fireflies in Mason jars.

Team colors: Navy blue, neon yellow, neon green, silver, and white

Major accomplishments:

📅 See the team’s 2023 schedule.

Soda City FC (UPSL) | Est. 2018

This new soccer team played its inaugural season in 2022 under the direction of four coaches. Soda City FC finished the season with a record of 4-4-2. In 2023, the team announced a partnership with National Independent Soccer Association team Flower City Union.

Where they play: Saluda Shoals Soccer Park

  • Features six soccer fields and six clay and four hard tennis courts
  • Offers access to the Saluda River, walking trails, and onsite consessions

Team colors: Light blue, white, and black

  • The team’s logo features a soccer ball, the team name, and a graphic of the SC State House.
  • Shop for merch.

📅 Stay tuned to learn about the team’s upcoming season.

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