Fri | Dec 6, 2019

Jamaica Classic tournament a boost for sports tourism product

Published:Wednesday | November 20, 2019 | 12:34 AM

Increasingly, people are travelling to countries across the globe to participate in and to watch a range of sporting events. Jamaica has been fortunate in attracting a premium sporting event in Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic Basketball Tournament, which is one of the top college basketball pre-conference season events.

The tournament, introduced in 2017, is now in its third staging at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, St James, and will be held on November 22 and 24.

The eight teams that will be featured are Louisiana State, Rhode Island, Utah State, North Texas, Nicholls State, UMBC, Eastern Michigan and North Carolina A&T.

Organisers Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment (Van Wagner), one of the preeminent sports marketing and media sales organisations in the world, presents the tournament in partnership with the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture, the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).

Minister of Sports Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange expressed pride in the partnership.

“As minister, I am committed to the development of the sport of basketball. Through the Sports Development Foundation, the Ministry of Sport is facilitating the seating infrastructure for the tournament. We recognise that the staging of a basketball tournament of this magnitude sends a strong signal to the world that Jamaica is growing as a prime sport tourism destination. The exposure to be gained from the partnership with the Jamaica Classic is invaluable, and we expect continued benefits for the sport of basketball,” said Grange.

benefits

Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism, addressed the benefits to the island in terms of the global exposure that it facilitated.

“The Jamaica Tourist Board is pleased to be a major sponsor of the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic. The preseason college basketball tournament continues to grow from year to year, and we’re delighted for the exciting opportunity to showcase the Montego Bay Convention Centre as a leading venue for hosting world-class sporting events. The destination benefits significantly from the partnership with CBS which provides great exposure for Montego Bay and, indeed, for Jamaica. We look forward to welcoming basketball fans and sports enthusiasts from around the globe to this top-class tournament hosted right here in our beloved homeland. I am sure they will see first-hand why Jamaica is truly the heartbeat of the world,” White said.

Meanwhile, Jacob Ridenhour, executive director of Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic, said he valued the support of these partnerships.

“The support of these entities validates what we are attempting to achieve in Jamaica – build the sport of basketball locally by exposing the youth of the nation to all the incredible educational opportunities that can be gained through sports, and use the opportunity to bring additional visitors to beautiful Montego Bay,” stated Ridenhour.

He added that Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic Basketball partnerships with the Jamaica Basketball Association (JABA), I Love MoBay and the Montego Bay Boys and Girls’ Clubs. had enabled a connection to the youth and basketball communities throughout Jamaica, and is intended to establish the Jamaica Classic as a premier preseason college basketball destination for years to come.

Basketball fans in the Montego Bay area and throughout Jamaica can purchase single-day and all-tournament tickets for the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic College Basketball Tournament by calling 876-925-5426, via TouchstoneTicketing.com or at MailPac Express locations throughout the island.

General admission tickets start at just $2,000 per day. Fans can secure VIP-level tickets and gain access to the Margaritaville Courtside Club, where complimentary beer, wine and mixed drinks are provided, for $8,000, for either day of the event.

A limited number of exclusive courtside seats, up close and on top of the action, are available for $15,000, which also includes access to the Margaritaville Courtside Club.

For more information and updates on the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic, visit Jamaicaclassic.com.