Maui News

EA SPORTS Maui Invitational Gives Local Economy $8.1M Boost

February 15, 2012, 6:41 AM HST
* Updated February 15, 12:58 PM
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EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The 2011 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational generated $8.1 million for the local economy through visitor spending, according to data released by the Maui Visitors Bureau.

“Once again, the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational provided a tremendous economic benefit to many businesses on the island including hotels, restaurants and local retailers,” said Terryl Vencl, executive director of the Maui Visitors Bureau. “Each year, our residents and businesses welcome thousands of visitors to the island to enjoy the tournament and experience everything it has to offer.”

An estimated 5,115 visitors traveled to Maui to attend the 2011 event, held Thanksgiving week at the Lahaina Civic Center.

Since its debut in 1984, the tournament, touted as the nation’s premier early-season college basketball tournament, has generated an estimated $153 million for the local economy.

“We’re proud of the tournament’s rich history of providing a significant economic boost each year to the island of Maui, and the record we’ve established of giving back to the local community in many different ways,” said Tom Valdiserri, executive vice president of KemperLesnik, operator of the event.

The tournament, hosted by Chaminade University, celebrated its 28th year by working hand-in-hand with the Maui community, hosting youth and coaches clinics and supporting non-profits as part of the event.

Beyond Maui’s shores, an estimated 8.6 million viewers watched the tournament on the ESPN network television stations. In addition, the network’s international broadcasts of the tournament were viewed by more than 2 million households.

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