Despite millions in economic impact, another piece of Black culture has waved goodbye to Charlotte…for now. The internet streets have been buzzing all week once news dropped about the CIAA basketball tournament leaving Charlotte and heading to Baltimore for the 2021-2023 tournament seasons.
Yes, CIAA Board Chair Dr. James Anderson said that it was a business decision. And yes, sports tournaments move all the time, especially when you have fans willing to show up with their bodies and their money. But, there was something else.
During the press conference, Anderson stated, “We got the feeling that [Baltimore] wanted us in your future. And that was really, really important. Not every city gave us that sense of including us in the future of that city.” No names were called, but the other cities in play were Charlotte and Norfolk, Va. It certainly didn’t feel like he was talking about Norfolk.
A few months ago, Qcitymetro reported that Queen City Battle of the Bands left Charlotte for Houston. After five years, event organizers said “lukewarm commitment and enthusiasm” were chief reasons for the move. Houston showed them love that they felt was lost in Charlotte.
I heard that same undertone as I listened to CIAA officials speak about the decision to move to Baltimore. If that was the case, then there’s nothing but respect for their decision to move on.
Weigh in, what was your reaction to CIAA leaving Charlotte?