CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament To Stay In Baltimore For The Next 3 Years
On June 9, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and Visit Baltimore announced the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament will continue its run in Baltimore to 2026, due to its success in 2023.
“We are proud that the CIAA Tournament will call Baltimore home for the next three years. The tournament belongs in Charm City,” said Maryland Governor Wes Moore in a statement.
“In order for this to be Maryland’s decade, it needs to be Baltimore’s time. Each year, this tournament is our opportunity to showcase what our state has to offer, bring people to Maryland, and drive economic growth.”
Baltimore offered a lot for this year’s attendees. This year, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament took place from Feb. 21-26 at the newly remodeled CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore. The event had an extremely high turnout, drawing over 38,000 fans across 22 basketball games in five days, surpassing last year’s attendance by 5.6%.
Based on the initial turnstile numbers tallying who entered the arena during tournament week with and without paid entry, the CIAA tournament garnered 63,844 people.
CIAA tournament events occurred at multiple locations around the city, including BWI Airport, Penn Station and several hotels. Three hundred volunteers provided support and information for the 26 events and 22 basketball games during the tournament.
The event also generated $17.7 million in participant and spectator off-site spending. The food and beverage sector generated $5.4 million, lodging $4 million, $3.4 million in entertainment and attractions, $3.2 million in retail spending, and transportation and local rideshare companies achieved $1.7 million.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott spoke about the experience, highlighting Baltimore’s connection with the sport.
“As a city with deep roots in the sport of basketball, it is so fitting for the world-class CIAA Tournament to stay right here in Baltimore.” Mayor Scott said.
“This has been an incredible opportunity to highlight some of the best HBCUs in the country that we have here in the State of Maryland: Morgan State University, Coppin State University, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and of course, our CIAA member institution Bowie State University,”
Scott also expressed his hope for the games in the future, saying, “For the past two years, the tournament has been nothing short of a slam dunk for our residents, our budding small business community, our die-hard basketball fans, and all spectators and visitors alike. We look forward to making the games bigger and better in the coming years while showcasing the best of Baltimore.”
Bowie State University President and Board Chair, Dr. Aminta H. Breaux, shared the CIAA’s anticipation for the future:
“The CIAA is so excited about the continued growth of the CIAA tournament in Charm City, and your investment and partnership of Visit Baltimore to ensure its success.”
Because of the work of the State of Maryland, Baltimore City, and the Local Organizing Committee, this year’s CIAA Tournament accrued a total economic impact of $29.6 million, supporting 1,500 jobs and generating $2.5 million in state and local taxes.
President and CEO of Visit Baltimore, Al Hutchison, shared his gratitude to the CIAA for its continued support of Baltimore. “I am grateful for the twelve presidents’ confidence in Baltimore to continue hosting the tournament through 2026,” said Hutchison. “The CIAA is an excellent example of what major events and conventions are doing for our city’s tourism recovery in terms of economic impact, and we are absolutely thrilled to welcome them to Baltimore for an additional year.”
The City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, Visit Baltimore, and the Local Host Committee donated $1.2 Million to the CIAA General Scholarship Fund that supports the conference’s 12 member institutions, which consists of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This contribution was made possible by Baltimore’s local businesses that make up the Local Host Committee, as well as corporate donations from partners including Whiting-Turner, Bank of America, Under Armor, CareFirst, Verizon, Wells Fargo, Tom Joyner Foundation, BGE, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, the Baltimore Orioles, the Baltimore Ravens, Horseshoe Casino, Fraport USA, DTLR, T.Rowe Price and many others.
The CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament will return to Baltimore from Feb. 26-March 3 in 2024. For more information on next year’s event and hotel lodging information, visit theciaa.com.