BALTIMORE — The CIAA basketball tournament, which was held in Baltimore City for the first time this year, generated a total of $19.6 million for the city.
The city's tourism agency, Visit Baltimore, announced today that the nation's oldest historically Black athletic conference ultimately supported 1,159 part-time and full-time jobs, generated $1.9 million in state and local taxes, and had a direct spending impact of $13.9 million.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association was in town Feb. 22-26, holding its basketball tournament at Royal Farms Arena. After 15 years in Charlotte, N.C., this was the CIAA's first run in Baltimore since 1952, said Visit Baltimore.
Visit Baltimore's president said it particularly helped give area hotels a boost. City hotels saw their second-highest revenue for Feb. 24-26 since that same time period in 2015. In recent years during that time, the hotels had a 65.6% occupancy rate and an average daily rate of $167.
The tournament also generated $11 million in participant and spectator off-site spending, with $3.2 million spent in the food and beverage sector, $2.7 million in lodging, $2.1 million in entertainment and attractions and $1.9 million in retail spending.
The estimates were generated 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 a part of the tournament, and those businesses generated about $1.05 million from the tournament.
The city did contribute $800,000 to the CIAA 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.
Jaquie McWilliams, Commissioner of the CIAA, 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 combines Black excellence with an unmatched love for sports, which makes the CIAA Tournament a perfect fit for Baltimore. As the CIAA Tournament grows in Baltimore year over year, we are excited to continue working closely with partners from the City, State, and local business community to build momentum for the event. I am committed to increasing opportunities for area businesses to benefit from the increased visitation, spending, and overall awareness of Baltimore as a can’t miss destination and the home of the CIAA Tournament for years to come.