CAA Tournament boosts business in the Charleston area

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Though the CAA Men's Basketball Championship is over, the economic impact is still big for the Lowcountry.

Business was booming over the weekend.

Before Monday's championship game, about 15,000 people were in and out of the North Charleston Coliseum over the weekend for various games.

While basketball fans come from different states for the games, it's not the only thing they plan to do.

Kelli Fankboner is a UNC-Wilmington alumna visiting from North Carolina.

"Usually I'm at home in Wilmington watching the game, it's nice to be here in the stands," Fankboner said.

She also explored Charleston.

"We've gone downtown, we went and saw a play, we went and did one of the carriage rides, we ate at several of the restaurants drank at several of bars," Fankboner said.

Co-chairman of the CAA Host Committee, Dan Blumenstock, says more than a year of planning went into this year's tournament.

"It's great that we're the number one destination in the world," Blumenstock said.

Dan Blumenstock says it was a factor that helped the tournament land here. He's also the director of Lowcountry Hotels.

"We have many different hotel selections and a lot of different sites to be able to host the teams the fans and the bands and the cheer," Blumenstock said.

He says they're not only staying near the North Charleston Coliseum, but also around the Charleston region.

Restaurants and bars were also booming.

Owner of the Sportsbook of Charleston Josh Butler says he noticed a big difference.

"You could even tell around just going to the Tanger Outlets," Butler said. "Traffic getting in and out of this area was more than what we're used to having on a regular Saturday, Sunday even Friday."

Butler says his bar was packed with fans of various teams ahead of games.

"It's been great I think hopefully we can show the CAA how great Charleston is," Butler said.

Blumenstock says it was great to see people across the area sporting attire from different teams over the weekend.

"We have some top hotels, we have top restaurants and now we also have one of the top basketball tournaments really in the nation," Blumenstock said.

The tournament will be held at the North Charleston Coliseum for the next two years. Many are hopeful it will take place here for longer.

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