Maui Jim Maui Invitational generates almost $22M for local economy

The 2018 Maui Jim Maui Invitational attracted almost 7,000 visitors and generated $21.99 million in sales statewide. Since the Tournament’s inception in 1984, it has contributed more than $250 million to the local island economy, including more than $80 million in the last five years.

“This event is undoubtedly one of Hawaii’s marquee attractions, drawing some of the best collegiate basketball talent year over year, while also providing the opportunity to showcase the natural beauty and rich culture of Maui,” said president and CEO of Hawaii Tourism, Chris Tatum, in a press release on Tuesday. “The Lahaina Civic Center is one of the most unique and intimate settings for a sporting event of this kind, and lends itself to being an unforgettable experience for players, coaches and fans alike. We look forward to continuing to work with the Maui Jim Maui Invitational for years to come.”

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The beauty and culture of Hawaii was on full display during the 2018 Tournament. All 12 games at the Lahaina Civic Center were televised live to a national audience by the ESPN networks, reaching close to 8.9 million viewers. In addition, Tournament games were seen internationally on ESPN Caribbean, ESPN Pacific Rim, ESPN Latin North, ESPN Brasil, and in Australia via STV.

“Here on Maui, we take great pride in hosting the Maui Jim Maui Invitational and bringing positive economic impact to our local community and residents each year,” said Sherry Duong, executive director of the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau. “There is simply nothing else quite like the Tournament that showcases the island’s scenery, lifestyle and the Aloha Spirit.”

Gonzaga claimed its second Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament title last November, beating Duke, which was previously undefeated in all of their tournament appearances. The Bulldogs took down the Blue Devils after knocking off Illinois and Arizona. Iowa State, San Diego State, Xavier and Auburn also took part in the 2018 event, with Xavier and Auburn making their first ever trips to the tournament.

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The 2019 Maui Jim Maui Invitational, scheduled for Nov. 25-27, will feature some of the most successful programs of the last decade. BYU, Dayton, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan State, UCLA, and Virginia Tech will join host Chaminade for the 36th annual event. Since the 2010-11 season, the field has combined for 40 total NCAA Tournament appearances, while Kansas, BYU, and Michigan State rank among the top 20 winningest programs in that same timeframe.

Each Division 1 team in the 2019 invitational has double digit NCAA Tournament appearances. In total, the teams of the 2019 tournament have combined for 16 national championships, with UCLA holding the current record for most in history.

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