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CIAA Basketball Tournament Raised $19.6 Million for Baltimore City, Report Says

BALTIMORE — The CIAA basketball tournament, held in Baltimore City for the first time this year, raised a total of $19.6 million for the city.

The city’s tourism agency, Visit Baltimore, reported today that the nation’s oldest historically black sports conference ultimately supported 1,159 part-time and full-time jobs, generated $1.9 million in taxes national and local and had a direct impact on expenditures of $13.9 million.

The Intercollegiate Athletic Central Association was in town Feb 22-26, holding its basketball tournament at Royal Arena Farms. After 15 years in Charlotte, North Carolina, this was the CIAA’s first race in Baltimore since 1952, Baltimore’s visit said.

The president of the Baltimore tour said he particularly helped the hotels in the area give a boost. City hotels saw their turnover the second highest for February 24-26 since the same period in 2015. In recent years, meanwhile, hotels had an occupancy rate of 65.6% and a daily rate average $167.

The tournament also generated $11 million in offsite participant and spectator spending, including $3.2 million spent on catering, $2.7 million on accommodation, $2.1 million on entertainment and attractions and $1.9 million in retail spending.

The estimates were produced in partnership with Tourism Economics, an Oxford economics company and leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis.

Visit Baltimore said the Baltimore Sports Tourism Development Council engaged 110 minority-owned businesses to be part of the tournament, and the businesses generated approximately $1.05 million from the tournament.

The city contributed $800,000 to the CIAA’s general scholarship fund, in partnership with the State of Maryland, Visit Baltimore and the local host committee. The donation was made possible by local businesses and corporate contributions from companies like BGE, Verizon and Bank of America.

CIAA Commissioner Jaquie McWilliams said the tournament’s first year in Baltimore was “a resounding success on all fronts” and thanked the city for the “warm welcome and support”.

Mayor Brandon Scott said:

We are a city that blends black excellence with an unparalleled love for the sport, making the CIAA Tournament a perfect fit for Baltimore. As the CIAA tournament grows in Baltimore year to year, we are excited to continue to work closely with city, state and local business partners to build momentum for the event. I am committed to increasing opportunities for area businesses to benefit from increased attendance, spending and general awareness of Baltimore as the can’t-miss destination and home of the CIAA Tournament for years to come.

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