Charlotte, NC - The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) made a significant impact during the 13th hosting of its annual men's and women's basketball tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina.
This year's tournament delivered record attendances at many of the conference's annual community service events, crowned Virginia Union University men's and women's basketball teams as tournament champions while boosting the local economy.
CIAA Tournament By The Numbers
Approximately, $1.6 million was raised in scholarship funds for current and future students to receive an education across the CIAA's 12-member institutions. These dollars are generated from support provided by sponsors, alumni and fans who purchase tickets, and tax dollars generated from visitors traveling to town to be a part of the CIAA tournament experience.
According to the 2018 CIAA Post-Tournament survey and economic impact report conducted by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority:
- $28.8 million in direct spending was made by visitors on hotel accommodations, local transportation, food, shopping and entertainment during their tournament week stay
- $9.7 million in indirect spending was made by local businesses who increased their advertising and communications efforts, and purchases of miscellaneous supplies and services to meet the incremental demand of CIAA tournament visitors
- $12 million in labor wages were earned by the high volume of workers needed to support activities during tournament week and re-spent by those employees within the local economy.
These figures combine for a total economic impact of $50.5 million, which is a 6.5 percent increase from 2017, and supportive of 436 jobs.
"This year's tournament was truly a homecoming celebration for CIAA students, alumni and fans," said Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. "We are grateful for the continuous support of our alumni and fans who attend from near and far, member institutions, and local and national partnerships. The combined efforts play a key role in the annual successes of the CIAA Basketball Tournament, and we look forward to forging stronger partnerships with the hospitality community to ensure that the support of our alumni and fans can benefit our CIAA institutions."
For the second year, the conference held early round games sessions at Bojangles' Coliseum 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 73,343 — a 5.8 percent increase from 2017.
"We are pleased with the continued growth we've been able to achieve by moving our early-round games to Bojangles' Coliseum," stated Dr. James Anderson, Chairman of the CIAA Board of Directors. "Not only have we created an exciting atmosphere for our student-athletes, alumni, and fans; but we've been able to deepen our relationships and persistently expand our engagement within the communities outside of Uptown Charlotte."