Nothing But Net: CIAA and Baltimore Release Economic Impact Figures from Basketball Tournament | Sports Destination Management

Nothing But Net: CIAA and Baltimore Release Economic Impact Figures from Basketball Tournament

May 13, 2024

Visit Baltimore and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA®), the nation’s oldest historically Black athletic conference, are pleased to recap the success of the 2024 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament which took place from Feb. 26 – March 3 at CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore.  

The tournament welcomed approximately 43,450 fans to CFG Bank Arena over 24 basketball games during its 6-day run in Baltimore, exceeding 2023’s attendance by 13 percent. In total, there were 63,844 attendees based on initial turnstile numbers including media, student athletes, coaches, staff and other patrons that entered the arena during tournament week. 

“The Baltimore community has been instrumental in its support in building and developing a culture and atmosphere of inclusive excellence centered around the game of basketball.  Each year, we have attracted new fans, expanded our traditions and created new memories in the Charm City through a week of nonstop competition, Fan Fest, and other ancillary CIAA events,” said Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams Parker.  “We are proud to partner with Visit Baltimore and local businesses to celebrate everything that makes this tournament second to none while giving back to Baltimore and the state of Maryland’s economy.  CIAA’s intentional work to leave an impact through its community efforts, to include partnering with Baltimore public schools, the church and faith community, the homeless and more is an extension beyond the game. We look forward to another exciting CIAA Basketball Tournament in 2025.” 

The CIAA Tournament generated a total economic impact of $32.5 million, which supported 1,315 part-time and full-time jobs and generated $3.1 million in state and local taxes. This financial success was made possible by the State of Maryland, Baltimore City, the Maryland Sports Commission and the Local Organizing Committee.  

In addition to total economic impact, the tournament generated $19.6 million in participant and spectator off-site spending, with $5.8 million spent in the food and beverage sector, $4.7 million in lodging, $3.9 million in entertainment and attractions, $3.6 million in retail spending, and $1.7 million in transportation and local rideshare companies. 

 “We are going to continue to show up for Baltimore – we are going to continue to invest in Baltimore – and we are going to continue to believe in Baltimore, and the city’s partnership with CIAA Tournament is part of that work,” said Governor Wes Moore. “Maryland is proud to be home to the historic CIAA Tournament — which has boosted our economy, brought in thousands of visitors to Charm City, and showcased the best that Baltimore has to offer.” 

Throughout the tournament planning process, the Baltimore Sports Tourism Development Council engaged 118 minority-owned businesses to be a part of the tournament which had a direct economic benefit of $1,437,838.67 to those businesses. 

In addition to the total economic impact that the event contributed to area hotels, restaurants and attractions, the City of Baltimore, State of Maryland, Visit Baltimore and the Local Host Committee made a $1.5 Million donation to the CIAA General Scholarship Fund that supports the conference’s 13 member institutions, made up of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and its students. This generous donation was made possible by the area businesses that make up the Local Host Committee, along with corporate contributions 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. 

 "Baltimore has proven time and time again that the CIAA tournament is made to be part of our city. Our entire community has truly embraced this tournament, energizing our local businesses, bringing incredible energy to the CFG Bank Arena, and showcasing our city’s love of basketball,” said Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “This success would not be possible without our local hotels, who saw increases in revenue and occupancy increase from previous years, and our local business community who came together and made this year’s tournament second to none. Baltimore is deeply grateful for the partnership we’ve built with the CIAA, and look forward to continuing it into 2025.” 


Over 288 volunteers provided wayfinding support and information for the 26 events and 24 basketball games that took place during the tournament at locations including BWI Airport, Penn Station and hotels in the tournament footprint. 

“The continued growth of the tournament demonstrates what is possible when partners truly work together toward a common goal,” said Dr. Aminta Breaux, Bowie State University President, and chair of the CIAA Board of Directors. “From the awesome Visit Baltimore team and Local Host Committee to the legion of volunteers, to the local businesses and corporate supporters, everyone focused on taking the 2024 tournament to the next level resulting in phenomenal growth in economic impact for the city and region, and phenomenal support for the students of our 13 CIAA schools.” 

Visit Baltimore partnered with Tourism Economics, an Oxford economics company and leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis to create a full economic impact report following this year’s CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament. 

The tournament will return to Baltimore from February 25-March 1, 2025. For more information on next year’s event and hotel lodging information, visit

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