BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball tournament will stick around in Baltimore for three more years after Charm City proved it could provide a tournament experience, organizers announced Wednesday.

The CIAA, which stands for the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, is the first and longest-running African American athletic conference in the country. Twelve schools are in the conference, including seven in North Carolina, two in Virginia, and one each in South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

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The tournament was already set to return for 2023, but organizers announced Wednesday it will be held in Baltimore in 2024 and 2025 as well.

“The tournament provides an opportunity for the City, State, local businesses, and our communities to come together to highlight Black excellence by providing an incredible tournament experience,” Mayor Brandon Scott said. “The CIAA Tournament staying in Baltimore is a win for all involved. It generates a strong economic impact for our city each year and greatly benefits students who attend or are looking to attend historically Black colleges and universities.”

The tournament came to Royal Farms Arena in February after spending the last 17 years in Charlotte. The news comes after the event drew 36,390 fans downtown and had a total economic impact of $19.6 million.

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The five-day event had a direct spending impact of $13.9 million, Visit Baltimore said, with $11 million in off-site spending on lodging, food and entertainment, and retail items.

Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, said between Feb. 24-26, hotel occupancy was 65.5%, the highest it has been during that same period since 2007.

“The extension will give both parties the opportunity to build upon its success in cultivating a greater sense of community while introducing a new venue that should enhance the experiences of our student-athletes, fans, partners, and alumni,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams.

 

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CBS Baltimore Staff