Chipola Will Not Host Next 3 State JUCO Basketball Tournaments

By  | 

Marianna- For 18 years Chipola College has hosted the State Junior College (JUCO) Basketball Tournament.

400 basketball players along with coaches, cheerleaders and fans filled nearly every hotel room in Marianna and spent the upwards of $2000 dining out.

But, Chipola day's of hosting hoops are over- at least for next years tournament, which will be played in Ocala. It's expected to be a foul change for the local economy

"It was wonderful [event goers] were here for at least several nights, they had referees, family and friends- so the economic impact for the restaurants, hotels and local economy was wonderful" Tourist Development Council Director Pam Fuqua said.

American Inn and Suites housed three teams during the last tournament.

"It helped us out a lot" Amanda Watson, the desk attendant at American Inn and Suites told us. "On our off seasons it helped us out a lot. I mean, it keeps us busy."

It's been estimated the JUCO tournament brought in around $250,000 in revenue- in less than one week.

"It's going to be a hit, but it's like anything. When it was our turn we enjoyed the revenue, it was good while it lasted" Fuqua said adding, "we are just going to look for some other opportunities to host some other tournaments."

And in the meantime, Watson and Fuqua said there were other ways for hotels to fill the beds.

"Games- if they're playing in Tallahassee, their home games. Or, FSU- when they have their home games- they come all the way here to stay" Watson told us.

Fuqua added,"we get a good number of over flow. For example, we had FSU's graduation overflow a couple weeks ago so we are lucky enough to receive some of that."

But those on the court said there were somethings money couldn't buy.

"The difference is the fan support" Chipola Woman's Basketball Coach, Greg Franklin said. "Not just that they came and watched us- Chipola- our fans were here watching everyone's games, so I sure hope the atmosphere is the same when we do change it."

It will be three years before Chipola can bid to host again.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus