Held for the first time in 11 years, the Slam Dunk to the Beach basketball tournament added more than $1-million to Southern Delaware’s economy.
That’s according to an economic impact study commissioned by the tournament organizers and conducted by the University of Delaware’s Center for Applied Business and Economic Research.
The $1-million figure is about a quarter of what the tournament generated in its previous iteration. A 2000 study by the University of Delaware’s Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research found that Slam Dunk to the Beach generated $3.5 million for the local economy. Adjusted for inflation, that total would represent about $4.8 million today.
Long a magnet for some of the nation’s best high school basketball players, Slam Dunk ended abruptly in 2004 after its organizer was charged with theft. The Delaware Sports Commission revived the event last December, promising an orderly, slimmed-down version that would reestablish Slam Dunk’s reputation.
Like their predecessors, the new organizers hosted their tournament at Cape Henlopen High School in the Delaware beach town of Lewes. They ended up attracting some of the nation’s premier teams, as well as about 10,000 fans. The 2000 tournament drew double that total, but was also two days longer.