College basketball matchups generate economic boom for Queen City

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte has been the place to be if you are a college basketball fan.

Three more games are on tap for Friday night, including the Liberty Flames versus the Charlotte 49ers.

The games translate to big dollars for the Queen City economy.

Charlotte is keeping the party going by welcoming six more teams Friday less than 24 hours after a battle between two basketball heavyweights, Iowa and Virginia Tech women’s basketball.

Friday’s games include the men of Virginia Tech giving Hokies fans a reason to stay an extra night in the Queen City.

“We have season tickets for men’s and women’s, two games back-to-back,” said fan Mark Scheffel. “It is too good to pass up.”

These two nights are sure to generate plenty of cash for Charlotte.

Last year’s Jumpman Invitational featuring four games over two days had an estimated economic impact of $10.2 million, according to the Charlotte Sports Foundation.

Visitors spent $5.5 million directly, which generated $327,000 in Mecklenburg County taxes.

Those taxes are from the hospitality industry, including hotel stays, which Steve Allen’s family is doing Friday night.

“It’s just a wonderful place,” said Allen, a Liberty fan. “The hotel we are staying in tonight is great. The community is nice and clean.”

They say it’s a no-brainer that more college basketball games are being played in Charlotte.

“The truth of the matter is, we just came for the experience to watch them play and do the best they can and to see how well they do,” Allen said.

More than 15,000 fans attended the Iowa-Virginia Tech women’s basketball game Thursday night, which amounts to 900 more people than the Charlotte Hornets game the night before.

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