The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) board wrapped up its fall meeting in Charlotte this week, apparently without making a firm decision about the future home of its popular basketball tournament, which has been in Charlotte since 2006.
In a statement released on Friday, the conference said directors reviewed proposals from Baltimore, Charlotte, and Norfolk, Va., each vying to host the tournament from 2021-2023.
“It was agreed that the Board will continue internal discussions regarding the presentations and make a decision in a timely manner,” the statement read.
The conference notified Charlotte officials in July that it would seek bids from competing cities, starting with the 2021 tournament. Until then, the tournament will remain in Charlotte.
The tournament each year attracts tens of thousands of visitors to Charlotte, giving the city’s economy a significant winter boost.
In 2018, the tournament and related events generated $28.8 million in direct spending, up 6.7 percent from the previous year, according to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
In return, the tournament has thrived in the Queen City, growing to become one of the most popular events in black college sports.
Still, the tournament has had an uneasy relationship with Charlotte. Most notably, fans and CIAA officials have accused hotels and restaurants of price gouging the black tourists who come to town for the annual event. The tournament also has been marred by sporadic violence unrelated to official functions.
James Anderson, who leads the CIAA board and is president of Fayetteville State University, said in July that it made “good business sense” for the conference to review its options.
“…It’s important to review all possible/potential locations to identify what’s best for our student-athletes, alumni, and fans,” he said.
The conference has said it would make its selection based on a number of factors, including hotel costs, transportation, contributions to CIAA scholarships and overall commitment to the tournament.