RALEIGH, N.C. — Despite winter weather conditions for most of the state, officials said the 2004 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association's annual basketball tournament drew a record number of fans for the fifth consecutive year.
More than 104,500 fans enjoyed activities at the RBC Center from Feb. 23 to Feb. 28, including men's and women's basketball games and Super Saturday festivities. The new single-event attendance record for the conference came from advance ticket-book sales, single-session paid and complimentary tickets, as well as turnstile drop counts from the arena.
The attendance for the 2003 tournament was 91,823, making it a 14 percent increase for this year's event.
"Each of the past five years we have seen the CIAA Tournament's footprint expand," CIAA Commissioner Leon G. Kerry said. "We are drawing more people to the host city, to the arena, and they are coming earlier and earlier in the week.
"We've also made a concerted effort to make sure the youth of the community get a chance to experience the CIAA, with the aim of perpetuating the CIAA tradition. We donate a number of single-day tickets to youth groups and host them at our free 'Super Saturday' events. We always make a concerted effort to reach out to the community-at-large, and it starts with the kids."
In 2003, the CIAA Tournament generated $859,236 in tax revenues, $713,845 of which was from state and local tax, $108,297 from hotel occupancy and $37,094 in food and beverage tax. Dave Heinl, president of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau said it would be seven to 10 days before the Raleigh CVB will be able to accurately report these figures for 2004.
The 2003 economic impact to the city of Raleigh was $10.2 million.