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By Dedrick Russell

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The recession has hit the CIAA Basketball tournament. Instead of seven days worth of activities, the tournament has shrunk down to five eventful days.

"We dropped a banquet, we're not going to be in the arena as long," said CIAA Commissioner Leon Kerry.

While the CIAA is adjusting to the failing economy, fans are not. The organization reports about 93 percent of the people who attended last year's tournament have already booked hotel rooms and purchased their ticket.

Surprisingly, corporate sponsors have not backed out either. It ain't cheap to be a CIAA sponsor.

Representatives from Ford, Food Lion and Nationwide Insurance said say they believe it is profitable to invest in the tournament despite tough times.

"We believe it's a right place to be then, and it's still an important partnership to have", said Nationwide Insurance Representative John Aman. "The audience of the CIAA is one Nationwide is interested in."

"I'm fortunate to have sponsors in place, fortunate," Kerry said.

So far, there has been no drop in the number of merchants who want to set up shop during the week.

Last year, more than $30 million was pumped into the local economy. While many hope history will repeat itself, organizers are already seeing signs that will happen.

The CIAA is not all about basketball, it also provides college scholarships for those in need.

The tournament raised about $2 million last year. Organizers are hoping it will bring in more money this year.

The 64th CIAA tournament tips off February 24th through the 28th at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

Article: http://www.wbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=9796908
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Charlotte Still Loves the CIAA Basketball Tournament

Official numbers have just come out about the 2009 CIAA Basketball Tournament, and it’s once again looking good for black college sports’ biggest party. From the official release:

According to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), the 2009 CIAA Tournament accounted for direct spending of $25.5 million and a total economic impact of $38.2* million over the five-day Tournament period. While the actual number of CIAA visitors was about the same as last year, median spending per person increased from $695 in 2008 to 760 in 2009, creating the increase in overall economic impact.

The release specifically places attendance numbers at 180,000 visitors, about the same as last year’s attendance. But the increase in economic impact shows a diligence in planning events for a wide range of tournament attendees. Even in down economic times, people are willing to spend money on a quality product, and the CIAA once again showed just how much of a quality product they put out every year.

http://www.hbcusportsblog.com/2009/04/charlotte-still-loves-the-ciaa-basketball-tournament/
 
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