By Emily Marshall
The Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) men’s and women’s basketball championships are being held in Halifax this weekend, bringing a large contingent of athletes, coaches, and fans with them.
The tournament is expected to attract anywhere between 26,000-32,000 people to the city in one weekend. In addition to 150 athletes competing come excited fans ready to cheer on their teams.
“…there are huge booster groups that come to support their teams – for example Ottawa will likely have as many fans as there are athletes in the tournament coming to support and cheer on the Carleton Ravens. Most teams have some groups like this that come out to support them” says Corinne MacLellan, the Chair of Communications for this championship.
There will be eight different universities competing in the championship tournament, which include the Carleton Ravens, Alberta Golden Bears, Concordia Stingers, Lakehead Thunderwolves, Fraser Valley Cascades, St. Francis Xavier X-Men, Ryerson Rams and the Acadian Axemen.
The CIS championships have been held in Nova Scotia 32 times in the 50 year history of the event. The 2005 tournament added nearly $6 million to Nova Scotia’s GDP, and has given the Halifax Metro Centre great publicity.
“The event featured the first nationally televised basketball event to be broadcast and held in the Metro Centre in 1978 – before a sold out crowd of 11,000 fans” says MacLellan. “That has often been referred to as a pinnacle in the history of the Metro Centre, so yes it is definitely a great event to showcase the facility for many years.”
Heather Noftall has friends participating in the tournament and plans to attend the games, which start Friday afternoon.
“I think this is a great way to bring people into the city and show how beautiful it is” says Noftall. “The tournament is being held downtown, it’s a perfect way to show off everything the downtown area has to offer. It’s going to be a busy weekend for the HRM”
|Heather Noftall is excited about the CIS basketball championships this weekend|