- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The gridlocked streets, jammed sidewalks and packed bars and restaurants told the story last month. Now the numbers are out to prove it: More people than ever attended last month’s CIAA basketball tournament.

In figures released to The Associated Press on Monday, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority estimates attendance for official CIAA functions topped 190,000 and provided an economic impact of $44.3 million, a 19 percent increase from last year. Both numbers are records for the event, which has been in Charlotte since 2006.

The signature event of the NCAA Division II league of 13 mostly historically black colleges and universities has become a giant reunion of sorts, with numerous activities not related to basketball.

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