BALTIMORE — College Basketball is expected to return to the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore for a few more years starting next spring.
Basketball means big bucks for Baltimore. this year's 2022 CIAA Tournament brought in nearly $20 million to the city, more than $1 million went to businesses owned by people of color in Baltimore.
The CIAA is the nation's oldest historically Black athletic conference.
February's tournament was the first time the CIAA had been in Baltimore since 1952, but basketball fans won't have to wait another 70 years for a repeat.
The CIAA tournament returns to Baltimore in 2023, but that’s just the beginning.
Reps from the CIAA along with state and local elected officials are holding a press conference Wednesday afternoon to announce a possible extension of the CIAA men’s and women’s basketball tournament to keep it going for at least two more years after 2023.
According to the marketing organization visit Baltimore, February's CIAA college basketball tournament created nearly 1,200 full and part-time jobs.
It generated $1.9 million in state and local taxes and had a direct spending impact of $13.9 million.
The tournament also generated $11 million in off-site dollars with basketball fans spending $3.2 million on food and drinks, and $2.7 million on lodging.
Baltimore city hotels saw their second-highest revenue for the February 24-26 time period, since 2015.
Spectators also spent $2.1 million on entertainment and local attractions and $1.9 million on retail.
The head of visit Baltimore believes the success of the tournament will help lure more big sporting events to the city.
Visit Baltimore president and CEO Al Hutchinson said “I think what you want to do when you host events, such as the CIAA is to have a successful track record, do well have a good economic story, which we did in this case, and we can always use that to help us to secure other futures sporting events."
If all goes according to plan, the Royal Farms Arena will have a new look and a new name when the CIAA returns to Baltimore.
The arena is currently undergoing renovations and the city is looking for a new corporate sponsor to buy naming rights.