SWAC Highlights New Tradition In Garland

SWAC Basketball Tournament Brings In Money

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 5
    Garland's Special Events Center hosted the annual SWAC tournament.

    Stepping is just one of the many traditions highlighted at this year's SWAC tournament.

    "Stepping actually comes from the soul  its a mixture African tradition, in terms of dancing, as well as combination urban hip hop," says Jackson State Alum Eric Barnes.

    The  local school teacher says events like this expose nearby high school students to one of the experiences of an Historically Black College.

    SWAC Highlights New Tradition In Garland

    [DFW] SWAC Highlights New Tradition In Garland
    SWAC Basketball Tournament brings in big bucks for local economy and showcases traditions of Historically Black College and Universities.

    "I think it's a great thing, I think it's  very positive especially looking at students in High School its encouragement for them go to college and pursue their dreams," said Barnes.

    This is the second year, that basketball teams from 18 colleges across the Nation have come to Garland for the Annual tournament. The economic impact to the city ranges between 3-7 Million dollars and brings roughly 35,000 people to Garland.

    Local businesses like the Hyatt Place, located behind the Garland Special Events center where the games are held, have been completely booked since October.  To keep up with the number of guests, the hotel had to double their staff.

    "Have like 5 people, working in the front.  Front desk checking in and checking out its totally just for this population, this much people," said Gallery Host Irene Galicia.

    Hotels aren't the only ones cashing in, the SWAC tournament brings in people who spend money at local restaurants and businesses.

    Alabama A&M Alum Sidney Jackson and his wife drove 10 hours to see his college play in the tournament and says they like the convenience of having their hotel and events center close by.

    "All the convenience that you might need is right here available and you don't really have to travel very far to go to them in this particular area," said Jackson.

    But for most the conference is about unity, celebrating Historically Black Colleges, and of course cheering on your favorite team!