The nation’s oldest historically Black conference is keeping its basketball tournaments in Baltimore for at least another year.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association announced Thursday that its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will run in the city for an additional year via a contract extension through 2026. The announcement came after a successful 2023 event, which took place Feb. 21-26 in Baltimore at the newly renovated CFG Bank Arena.
The 2023 tournaments had approximately 38,450 fans in attendance over a five-day run for 22 games, exceeding 2022′s attendance by 5.6%, the organization reported. The CIAA said it generated a total economic impact of $29.6 million, which supported 1,504 part-time and full-time jobs and generated $2.5 million in state and local taxes. The tourney moved to Baltimore in 2022 after 15 years in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“We are proud that the CIAA Tournament will call Baltimore home for the next three years,” Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said in a statement. “The tournament belongs in Charm City, and this report proves it. 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.”
Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, said in the statement: “I am grateful for the twelve presidents’ confidence in Baltimore to continue hosting the tournament through 2026. 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 organization said, in addition to economic impact, the tournaments generated $17.7 million in participant and spectator off-site spending. Approximately $5.4 million was spent in the food and beverage sector, $4 million in lodging, $3.4 million in entertainment and attractions, $3.2 million in retail spending, and $1.7 million on transportation and local ride-sharing companies.
“The success of the tournament proves that Baltimore is the perfect CIAA host city, celebrating its proud African American history in partnership with the oldest African American athletic conference,” Aminta Breaux, Bowie State University president and chair of the CIAA board of directors, said. “As president of the host institution for the tournament, I’d like to thank all of the local businesses who welcomed tournament guests to the city, and the many fans and supporters who came out to support our student-athletes from the 12 member institutions of the CIAA.”