CIAA tournament to stay in Charlotte for six years

Filed under SPORTS

BY STEVE REED
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association is returning to Charlotte. This time for good.

CIAA commissioner Jacqie Carpenter announced Monday that not only will the conference’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments remain in Charlotte for “at least six more years,’’ but that the CIAA is moving its headquarters to the city, too.

The CIAA headquarters have been based in Hampton, Va., since the conference formed more than 100 years ago. The move is expected by 2016 at the latest.

The Division II tournament, which is known for its weeklong parties that include national celebrities, has been held in Charlotte since 2006. However, the contract expired following the completion of this year’s tournament, which wrapped up this past weekend.

“Charlotte did a really good job of bringing all of its key leaders together to see how this agreement could stretch beyond the CIAA tournament,” Carpenter said in a news conference Monday in Charlotte. “I think it’s a great opportunity to embed ourselves in the community here.’’

As part of the agreement, the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority will provide various benefits, including $1.4 million in funding per year to the CIAA. The money will be distributed among the conference’s 12 schools.

Games will continue to be played at Time Warner Cable Arena, home of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats.

The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority said the 2013 CIAA tournament generated $29.86 million in direct spending and $47.17 million in economic impact.

The CIAA is the oldest African-American athletic conference in the nation and consists of Bowie State, Chowan, Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State, Johnson C. Smith, Lincoln, Livingstone, Saint Augustine’s, Shaw, Virginia State, Virginia Union and Winston-Salem State.

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