Updated at 1:29 p.m., Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Maui hoops contributed $8.5M to Maui economy
Advertiser StaffLast year's EA SPORTS Maui Invitational basketball tournament contributed $8.5 million to the local economy, according to financial data released by the Maui Visitors Bureau.
The nation's premier early-season college basketball tournament, hosted by Chaminade University, and featuring elite teams, is staged during Thanksgiving week at Lahaina Civic.
Since the tournament's debut in 1984, the tournament has contributed an estimated $120 million.
"This tournament epitomizes the union of college athletics with culture and community," said Terryl Vencl, executive director of the Maui Visitors Bureau, in an email release. "For almost a quarter century, Maui has significantly benefited from this event, not only on the economic front but also from an exposure standpoint. The EA SPORTS Maui Invitational annually provides an ideal platform on which Maui and its culture shine."
The tournament's economic impact resulted from expenditures by the 4,500 out-of-state visitors boosters, players, officials, media, team and game personnel, sponsors, production crews and basketball fans who visited the island.
Last year's tournament featured UCLA, Memphis, Kentucky, Purdue and Georgia Tech among the eight teams. UCLA won the tournament.
Also, nearly seven million television viewers watched the games on ESPN.
This year's field, to be held Nov. 19-21, will feature Arizona State, Duke, Illinois, LSU, Marquette, Oklahoma State and Princeton.
The tournament also has contributed money to numerous local organizations and groups, including Lahainaluna High School, Maui Family YMCA, Boy Scouts of Maui, Aloha House, Napili Canoe Club and Baldwin High School.
EA SPORTS, the world's leading interactive entertainment software company, enters its seventh year as title sponsor of the Maui Invitational.