Charlotte, NC (June 5, 2017) - The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) has recorded its fourth highest economic impact of $47.4 million during the 2017 Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament. Hosted at the end of February, visitors to Charlotte, North Carolina for this year's tournament ranged between 103,000 to 138,000.
The conference added Bojangles' Coliseum to its official venue footprint in 2017 to host early-round basketball game sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and continued with the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship finals at Spectrum Center on Thursday through Saturday. The collective game attendance for both venues was more than 69,000 fans throughout the week.
"Our first year at Bojangles' Coliseum was a successful start and we are excited about our growth there," stated Dr. James Anderson, Chairman of the CIAA Board of Directors. "Moving early-round games there provided us with an opportunity to expand our reach in the Charlotte community and offer an exciting atmosphere for our student-athletes, alumni, and fans."
Food Lion and Nationwide helped celebrate more than 300 student-athletes and their achievements during the Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament Tip-Off Luncheon.
Over 4,600 high and middle school students from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and surrounding counties were reached during the annual CIAA Education Day program, while 721 pairs of new shoes were provided to Merry Oaks Elementary students as a part of the Shoes of Hope initiative, in partnership with Samaritan's Feet and Coke Zero. Along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the conference presented a one-day 'Finding Your Path to the Student-Athlete Experience' workshop to educate 250 future student-athletes about competing at the collegiate level. Also, approximately $1.4 million were raised in scholarship funds for current and future students to receive an education across the CIAA's 12 member institutions.
The CIAA Career Expo drew a crowd of 356 attendees and 65 vendors that included potential employers and recruiters with an opportunity to meet recent graduates, graduation candidates, current students from CIAA member schools and area universities, as well as local residents seeking job opportunities.
Toyota Fan Fest and McDonald's Super Saturday, part of the tournament's annual lineup of free activities for families, welcomed over 20,000 students, alumni, and fans.
The 2018 CIAA Tournament will be held in Charlotte, N.C. from February 27-March 3, 2018. Early-round basketball games will be played at Bojangles' Coliseum on February 27-28 and continue March 1-3 at Spectrum Center with quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals.