As the CIAA tournament leaves Charlotte, another piece of culture leaves with it

Months prior to the CIAA basketball tournament relocation announcement, the Queen City Battle of the Bands also said goodbye to Charlotte. What gives?

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.

Dr. James Anderson, CIAA Board Chair and Fayetteville State University president, stressed that it was the board — not CIAA staff — who decided to relocate the basketball tournament from Charlotte to Baltimore. A press conference was held on Jan. 8 in Baltimore to announce the move. Photo via livestream

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?

Katrina Louis is managing editor of who can always find something to do in Charlotte. She’s an offline hustler (and has the shirt to prove it) but when online, find her on Instagram and Twitter.

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