Events Delivered $96.1 Million Economic Impact to Charlotte Community in 2018

Charlotte, N.C. – The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) today announced that the 2018 Belk College Kickoff, Belk Bowl and ACC Football Championship resulted in a combined economic impact for the three events of approximately $96.1 million. The total includes $51.9 million in direct visitor spending to the Charlotte community. In addition, over 98,000 hotel room nights were generated by the three games. The economic impact data was provided by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

CSF owns and operates the Belk College Kickoff and Belk Bowl, in addition to serving as the local organizing committee for the ACC Football Championship in Charlotte.

“We are very proud that these prestigious events resulted in an economic impact of over $96 million to the city of Charlotte,” said Will Webb, Executive Director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation. “That is a substantial amount of business for the community. We are especially proud that these games and their ancillary events take place during traditionally slow periods for the hospitality industry in Charlotte. Over 98,000 hotel room nights were booked at a time when they might otherwise be vacant. This reinforces the wisdom of investing in sports for the community.

“We have a dedicated local sponsor in Belk, who serves as title sponsor of two of our signature events. And we work with great local partners, such as the CRVA, the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and our Board of Directors, Co-Captains and Leatherheads.”

The Belk College Kickoff, played on September 1, saw a crowd of 66,793 witness the first ever matchup between West Virginia University and the University of Tennessee. The game had a total economic impact of $38.8 million, with $21 million in direct visitor spending. Nearly 42,000 hotel room bookings resulted from the game.

The ACC Football Championship, played on December 1, had a crowd of 67,784 watch Clemson University against the University of Pittsburgh. The game had a total economic impact of $28.7 million, with $15.5 million in direct visitor spending. The game generated over 31,000 hotel room nights.

The Belk Bowl, played on December 29, saw a crowd of 48,263 watch the University of Virginia and the University of South Carolina. The game had a total economic impact of $28.6 million, with $15.4 million in direct visitor spending. The game resulted in over 25,000 hotel room nights.

The mission of the Charlotte Sports Foundation, a 501(c)(3), is to provide leadership for sports-based initiatives that result in a positive impact on the economy and quality of life in the Charlotte region. CSF works to create, secure and operate high-caliber athletic events such as the Belk College Kickoff, the ACC Football Championship and the Belk Bowl. These three games, and ancillary events, attract tens of thousands of fans to Charlotte annually and had an economic impact of over $96 million for the local economy in 2018.

CSF’s future regular season football games scheduled include; the Universities of North Carolina and South Carolina (2019 & 2023). Wake Forest University and the University of Notre Dame (2020), and East Carolina University and Appalachian State University (2021). The Foundation also provides support for recruitment and operation of other local sporting events, including the 2019 NBA All-Star Game and 2019 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, and spearheads Charlotte’s continued growth as a preferred host for premier national and regional sporting events.

CSF was created in the spring of 2013 as a combined entity of Charlotte’s two primary sports development groups, Charlotte Collegiate Football and the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission. Its origins can be traced to the vision of Charlotte civic leaders after the very successful hosting of the 1994 NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The Board of Directors that guides the Charlotte Sports Foundation boasts a dynamic roster of top Charlotte civic and business leaders. Please visit for more information.


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