The NBA may be coming back to North Carolina but the CIAA Football Championship Game is staying in Virginia.
The conference announced on Wednesday it has signed a three-year deal with Salem, VA to host its football title game. The CIAA moved its football title game to Virginia last fall following fallout from North Carolina’s controversial HB2 bill.
“We are excited to bring the rich legacy and tradition of CIAA championships to a city known for hosting top NCAA championships and who understands the value of serving its community through athletics,” Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams said in a release. “Our priority, annually, is enhancing the student-athlete experience through community impact, leadership programs, and championships. We are confident that the city of Salem will continue to help us grow and expand our championship footprint.”
Salem will also host the CIAA’s Football Media Day as well as men’s and women’s cross country championships (Oct. 26) as well as softball (April 30-May 1).
Last season’s championship game was originally slated to be played at Durham County Stadium, site of the previous two championship games, but left the state along with eight other championships, including indoor track and field. The game, played at Salem Football Stadium, drew 3,500 fans and encouraging feedback. HBCU Gameday was the first to report the CIAA’s championship relocation last fall.
The conference also announced it will be marking the 125th anniversary of black college football, which began with Livingstone and Johnson C. Smith in 1892. The CIAA, the oldest conference for HBCUs, revealed a celebratory logo to honor the anniversary.