CAA tournament brings boost to Lowcountry businesses

CAA tournament brings boost to Lowcountry businesses

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Colonial Athletic Association Men's Basketball Tournament kicks of Saturday at the North Charleston Coliseum and goes through Tuesday.

It's the tournament's second year in the Lowcountry, and with thousands of people coming into town it has a big impact on some of the local businesses.

More than 21,000 people attended the CAA Tournament last year, according to the Charleston Sports Commission.

It's not just the teams, but the bands, the cheerleaders, fans and family that come along for the ride too.

The Sports Commission estimates that last year there were about $1.87 million of expenditures by visitors that include daily spending on hotels, restaurants, gas, shopping, and more.

People traveling in the area of the the coliseum and Tanger Outlets over the weekend might notice some extra traffic.

Local businesses are also feeling the effects in a positive way including the Community Pizza House.

The general manager of Community Pizza House, Taylor Larson, says they are providing food at the coliseum throughout the duration of the tournament for players and tournament staff.

They're also noticing the crowds at the restaurant.

"Tonight we're feeding a couple of teams that got in right off the plane, doing some deliveries to the hotels," Larson said. "We stock up. We have a couple of extra servers, an extra bar tender, you really have to be ready throughout the entire day because the tournament is going on all day with multiple games, multiple game times."

The director of Lowcountry Hotels says it's a positive thing for the community to have teams coming to the Charleston area from out of town.

There's also a peak in hotel bookings during the duration of the tournament.

The Charleston Sports Commission reports that there were 3,650 room nights booked during last year's tournament.

For more information about the tournament. 

College of Charleston will play its first game on Sunday and they are the top seed.

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