Asheville to Host Major National and International Sporting Events in 2018
By Jason Tarr
With its prime location in the Blue Ridge Mountains and its top notch athletic facilities, Asheville is drawing major international and national sports competitions to town. Asheville will have everything this year from Team USA tennis action to world-class cycling, from the best in world equestrian games to the highest level of college basketball tournament play.
And, as you enjoy watching the athletes compete, you'll have Asheville at your fingertips to ensure there won't be any break in the action. Experience Asheville's vibrant downtown, the bounty of independent restaurants, the thriving music and arts scene and the most breweries per capita of any U.S. city.
Sports fans, here's where to catch the major competitions coming to Asheville in 2018:
USA vs. Netherlands - Fed Cup
February 10-11, 2018
Asheville has the honor of hosting the first round of the 2018 Fed Cup, considered the world cup of women's tennis. It'll be a star-studded event with Serena Williams, Venus Williams, CoCo Vandeweghe and Lauren Davis leading Team USA! The Asheville event will be the first competition appearance of the year for Team USA, which last year brought home its 18th Fed Cup title. The Fed Cup is the world's largest annual international team competition in women's sport with 100 nations competing every year. This is the first match-up between the USA and Netherlands teams in almost two decades. A limited number of tickets remain so don't wait to grab your seat!
SoCon Basketball Championships
March 1-5, 2018
March Madness begins in Asheville! Don't miss the chance to see some of the nation's best conference tournament action as the men's and women's teams of the Southern Conference (Division I) battle for a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The 2018 Championships feature a full lineup of events for fans. Your kids will love dribbling through Asheville for the Downtown Dribble and KidsFest. Hear great music at the Ingles JamFest. And, show your community support during the SoCon Teddy Bear Toss and Hometown Heroes Night.
Haute Route Asheville
Experience the Blue Ridge Mountains with some of the world's top cyclists during the inaugural Haute Route Asheville, a prestigious European-based cycling event. During the three-day event, each stage will begin and end in Asheville's vibrant downtown. The first two stages will take riders to Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. Cheer on the riders at the start line and then spend the day exploring all that Asheville has to offer!
Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains are considered a world-class cycling destination. Asheville is home and a training ground for many professional cyclists. Haute Route Asheville is the latest in a series of big cycling events to come to the Asheville area, which hosted the 2015 and 2016 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, the 2016 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships and Cycle North Carolina.
FEI World Equestrian Games
September 11-23, 2018
One of the largest events in equestrian sports will take place in 2018 in the nearby community of Tryon, just 45 minutes southeast of downtown Asheville. The 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games are expected to draw nearly 500,000 people from more than 70 countries to the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Much like the Olympics, the World Equestrian Games are held every four years and are second only to the Olympics in importance on the world equestrian calendar.
Other Sporting Events in 2018
Mountain Sports Festival
May 25-27, 2018
Memorial Day Weekend 2018 will mark the 18th Annual Mountain Sports Festival. The three-day festival features thrilling competition and great music. Athletes will compete in cyclocross, ultimate frisbee, triathlon, stand up paddle board, mountain disc golf, dodgeball, beach volleyball, inline hockey, climbing, bellyak and more. Throughout the festival, fans can enjoy the Festival Village in Carrier Park, which will feature music, food and vendors.
2018 Asheville Spartan Super
August 4-5, 2018
Are you up for the challenge? The Spartan Race is a major obstacle course drawing athletes from across the nation who are looking to push their limits. The race is a U.S. Championship Series Race and is considered one of the Spartan's premier race events of the year. The competition will be televised on NBC Sports. The challenging course is located in the beautiful nearby community of Black Mountain.