The New Mexico Activities Association says the turnout was smaller than usual for the annual state basketball tournament, which is wrapping up this weekend.
More than 100 teams hit the court over the last week, with an estimated 1,500 athletes competing for the state championship title. Each of them bring friends, families and fans to the Duke City.
“The city is really flooded with teams, has been this entire week, flooded with teams from across the state,” said Tania Armenta, the CEO of Visit ABQ.
Armenta says the state basketball tournament is responsible for an average $2.3 million boost to the Albuquerque economy each year.
“They’re out and about dining in our restaurants, exploring the city, shopping,” said Armenta.
However, the NMAA says attendance this year is a little lower than years past. The decline is attributed to fewer games this year.
“We have 14 less games this year and that’s due to one less classification on the boys and girls side,” said Dusty Young the Associate Director of the NMAA.
The NMAA is also using fewer venues.
In previous years, teams played in five different locations but this year they’ve downsized, using only the Pit, the Santa Ana Star Center and Bernalillo High School.
Cleveland and Rio Rancho High Schools did not host the tournament games this year as they did in the past.
The NMAA says that change may have impacted attendance too.
“Here at the pit, they’re slightly down but at the Santa Ana Center our attendance figures were actually better than they were last year, so it’s just a matter of some changes in format,” said Young.
The NMAA says, for now, the same plan is in place for next year.