Great news for CIAA basketball fans and the city of Baltimore as the two have agreed to keep the tournament in the city through 2026.
“The CIAA has embraced the ‘Charm City’ as our tournament home over the past two years. Each year, we have attracted new fans with a focus to increase attendance to our championship basketball games, Fan Fest and other ancillary events,” said conference commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “Baltimore is a cultural destination that aligns perfectly for our alumni and fans in February, one of my favorite months to celebrate sports and culture.
“We are proud to partner with Visit Baltimore and the entire community to harness the legacy of the CIAA and to make lasting impact in the community that we can see, feel and celebrate. We look forward to another exciting CIAA Basketball Tournament in 2024 and extending through 2026.”
The CIAA Tournament first moved from Charlotte to Baltimore in 2022 and last year’s event, according to Baltimore officials, generated a total economic impact of $29.6 million, supported 1,504 part-time and full-time jobs and generated $2.5 million in state and local taxes.
“The tournament belongs in Charm City, and this report proves it,” said Maryland Governor Wes Moore. “In order for this to be Maryland’s decade, it needs to be Baltimore’s time. Each year, this tournament is our opportunity to showcase what our state has to offer, bring people to Maryland, and drive economic growth.”
The nation’s oldest HBCU athletic conference brought almost 40,000 fans to the CFG Bank Arena for the 22 games and festivities according to the conference’s release.
But the CIAA did more for the city before the actual tournament.
During the tournament planning process, the Baltimore Sports Tourism Development Council engaged 118 minority-owned businesses to be a part of the tournament which had a direct economic benefit of $1,249,028 to those businesses.
Now that the tournament will be staying in the city for the next three years, look for those numbers and the CIAA’s overall impact, to grow.
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