Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament Contributed More Than $1 Milli - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament Contributed More Than $1 Million to Local Economy

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 DOVER, Del. -The Slam Dunk to the Beach high school basketball tournament contributed more than $1 million to the local economy over three days in December 2014, according to a new report by the Delaware Sports Commission.

While here, visitors stayed in area hotels, dined in local restaurants and shopping in nearby stores during the off-season.

“We are very encouraged in regards to the economic impact of the event and we hope that we are able to increase those numbers in years to come,” said Matthew Robinson, Slam Dunk's Chairman.

Robinson is Director of the Sports Management Program in the Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware.

“One of our stated goals is to bring business to Delaware through visitors attending the games and patronizing local businesses,” said Robinson.

Slam Dunk's off-season boost to the economy is why Delaware Sports Comission relaunched the tournament after its 11-year absence.

Ultimately, well over 10,000 visitors watched the exciting action unfold from December 27-20 at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes.

“Because of the buzz it creates, Slam Dunk is the kind of thing that raises Delaware's profile as a destination for all travelers,” said Linda Parkowski, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “When people come to Delaware for Slam Dunk, they are able to see the state more definitively as a place that has great attractions, such as tax-free shopping and wonderful beaches. That mindset stays with them long after the tournament is done.”

The University of Delaware Center for Applied Business and Economic Research conducted the study on Slam Dunk 2014. CABER provides analysis for the promotion of economic growth and business development in Delaware and the region.

"Slam Dunk's million-dollar contribution to the economy is significant for a new, three-day event,” said William Latham, director of CABER. “Slam Dunk had a significant impact compared to events elsewhere of this size and scope.”

One game of the event was featured on ESPN 3 and the WatchESPN app, which reaches 95 million households. More than 75 journalists from local and national publications, websites, TV and radio stations sought credentials for the tournament.

“We hope that the positive energy and publicity created by December's tournament will lead to more spectators in future years,” added Robinson, who is also the Director of Sport Research for CABER. “We look forward to working with local business and sponsors to identify ways we can enhance the visitors' experience while they are in Sussex County.”

The 2014 tournament included 16 of the nation's top boy's high school basketball programs from seven states, including Kansas, New York and Ohio, plus the District of Columbia. Delaware was well represented with five of those 16 elite schools.  Dozens of head and assistant coaches from major collegiate basketball programs were on hand to scout the action.

In announcing results of the study, Slam Dunk's organizers also revealed that the tournament's success has prompted plans for it to return this year. Slam Dunk 2015 is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 27-29 at Cape Henlopen High.

“This also reaffirms that sporting events can be a vibrant part of the state's tourism sector,” Parkowski said. “Events like Slam Dunk are great for the community, because they generate demand at a time of year when economic activity is needed.”





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