2007 CIAA Tournament Week is Largest Ever

2007 CIAA Tournament Week is Largest Ever

Economic Impact Higher than Expected; Charlotte Events Experience Record-Breaking Attendance

HAMPTON, VA (April 4, 2007) --- The 2007 CIAA Tournament, held in Uptown Charlotte Feb. 26 - March 3, was another successful tournament week for the conference and the City of Charlotte.  CIAA fans returned to the Queen City in vast numbers and filled arena stands, uptown restaurants, fan experiences and hotel lobbies throughout the week.  Buoyed by the addition of several new events, as well as an abundance of individually promoted activities, this year's CIAA rivaled America's great sporting events in terms of fan experiences, social networking and economic success.

According to Charlotte Regional Visitor's Authority research, the Tournament accounted for direct spending of over $18 million and a total economic impact of $27.7 million dollars over the one-week period, up nearly 80 percent from the 2006 Tournament figures.  In addition to sold-out attendance at traditional CIAA functions, city organizers, hoteliers and local food and beverage businesses recognized the benefits of the CIAA and its throng of fans.  Many party promoters and restaurants reported that their business "more than doubled" from last year's tournament week and are already planning for bigger things in 2008.  These numbers were compiled by the market research department of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) and are a function of the number of visitors and their spending habits over the course of tournament week.

"After a successful first year in Charlotte for the CIAA in 2006, both the CIAA and the Charlotte region held high hopes for 2007. These numbers are even better than we expected and bear testimony to the great match that the CIAA and Charlotte have become," said Tim Newman, CEO of Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.  "We look forward to the opportunity to build on this success in 2008 and thank the CIAA and its great fans for making 2007 the best CIAA tournament ever."

The second edition of the CIAA Ford Fan Experience was wildly popular with CIAA patrons attracting more than 30,000 fans over the three-day period.  Highlights of the Fan Experience included the Steve Harvey Morning Show, a concert series featuring national recording artists Mario, Sunshine Anderson and Trey Songz, Bank of America's Biz Street, Food Lion's Cooking Stage, Ford's FunkMaster Flex display, the Marine Chin-Up Challenge and many more interactive activities for people of all ages.

Basketball tournament action at the Bobcats Arena was as hot as ever with over 115,000 fans watching the games and attending the annual CIAA McDonald's Super Saturday activities which included a CIAA Cheerleading Exhibition, an exhibition from the Step Show winners, a Miss CIAA Pageant, the CIAA Streetball Classic and the world-famous Battle of the Bands display.

Traditional CIAA events such as Ebony's Fashion Show, the league-sponsored Step Show, CIAA's Showtime at the Apollo featuring Boyz II Men, the Conference's After Party featuring the Spinners, High School Day, Career Day and NASA Awareness  Days also enjoyed record turnouts with close to 20,000 people attending these events .

"This year's Tournament - and all the activities associated with this tournament - was an incredible event," explained Leon Kerry, CIAA Commissioner. "I continue to be amazed by the passion of the CIAA fans and am proud of what this tournament means to our member institutions and the Historically Black College world.  We work hard to put on first-class events and it's very satisfying to see what this week means to so many people."

Ticket sales, sponsor revenues and media and rights fees for all CIAA-sponsored events, combined with the host city financial commitments, offset the CIAA operating costs and ultimately provided contribution to the CIAA scholarship fund and its eleven institutions.  The conference is expected to contribute a record amount of money to the CIAA scholarship fund for the eighth straight year.  This figure will be announced in conjunction with the CIAA's fiscal year-end closing later this summer.

For more information about the CIAA conference or the 2008 Tournament to be held February 25 - March 1, 2008 in Charlotte, please visit www.ciaatournament.org.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) was founded in 1912 and is based in Hampton, Virginia.  The CIAA is America's oldest historically black college and university conference and is made up of 11 HBCUs situated along the Eastern Seaboard.  For more information about the CIAA Basketball Tournament, visit www.ciaatournament.org.