The CIAA has opened up the bidding process for a potential new home for the CIAA Basketball Tournament according to a Monday press release. The CIAA Board of Directors Tournament Sub-Committee made bid specifications available this week to prospective tournament hosts. An announcement on the host city will be made in December 2018.
The selected city will host the tournament from 2021-2023. The tournament has been in Charlotte since 2006 and will continue to host the tournament through at least 2020. Charlotte will have the opportunity to bid for the new contract and could very well remain the host site.
Time for reevaluation
“The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) and the city of Charlotte have been a great host for the CIAA Basketball Tournament. Over the past 13 years both the CIAA tournament and Charlotte have grown and benefitted from the relationship,” said CIAA Board Chair and Fayetteville State University President Dr. James A. Anderson.
“The Board believes it makes good business sense to re-evaluate the location and amenities for the future of the tournament.”
The CIAA has a bigger footprint than it did in 2006. The league has schools in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and now South Carolina. Charlotte is a geographical fit for North and South Carolina schools, but not necessarily for northern division schools.
More scholarships, less partying
The CIAA seems to be very adamant about cleaning up the lingering problem of unofficial parties and events. Especially those events that end up on the police blotter claiming to be official CIAA events. The ensuing media coverage of these rogue events has left the CIAA in a pickle before. The conference says it is looking at each bidder’s ability to create an advertising-free or “clean” zone to protect sponsors and to prevent “ambush marketing” around the venue.
Scholarship money is a big consideration as well. The provision of scholarship dollars distributed to member institutions will be a big factor in the final decision.
Venues must hold a minimum of 8,000-10,000 fans. Host cities or regions must be able to provide at least 6,000 full-service hotel rooms close to the arena.
New market on the horizon?
“The selection of the future CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament site is in alignment with site selections for all CIAA championships. The conference’s Board sees this as a great opportunity to open the tournament experience to other markets and to forge new alliances,” said Jacqie McWilliams, CIAA Commissioner.
“Charlotte has been a great home for us and we look forward to continuing our partnership. Our future includes writing a new chapter in our tournament’s history, with a goal of creating exciting, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our student-athletes, coaches, alumni, sponsors, and fans.”
The bid deadline is September 9, 2018.