Photo Credit: / Kyo H Nam

The nation’s first African-American athletic conference is back for tournament action in one of its last showings before relocating the event.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) will host its men’s and women’s basketball tournament at Bojangles’ Coliseum and the Spectrum Center, Feb. 25 through March 2. The Queen City has hosted the weeklong tournament since 2006, but in January, CIAA officials announced that the tournament will move to Baltimore for the 2021-2023 seasons.

Along with on-the-court activities, fans from around the country won’t have to look far for off-the-court entertainment. Here is your curated list of things to do during CIAA Tournament Week.

On the court

The single-elimination tournament will begin at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Feb. 25 with a women’s match-up between Shaw University and Elizabeth City State University followed by the men’s faceoff between Johnson C. Smith University and Chowan University.

Games will continue at the Coliseum until competition moves to Spectrum Center Feb. 28. The championship games will tip off at 1 p.m. for the women followed by the men at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 2.

Recording artists Jacquees, Saweetie, Mike Phillips, Bobby V and Porcelan will perform at the Spectrum Center during the men’s and women’s semi-finals and final games on March 1 and 2.

Game tickets are still available with proceeds going toward scholarships benefiting students attending CIAA-member schools.

CIAA bracket schedules for the 2019 men’s and women’s basketball tournament.
CIAA bracket schedules for the 2019 men’s and women’s basketball tournament.

Off the court


Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists Media Mixer, 6:30–8:30 p.m. — Mix and mingle with local journalists and media professionals at Aloft Charlotte Uptown, EpiCentre. Cost: Free for CAABJ members, $10 for non-members


CIAA Minority Business & Leadership Symposium, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. — Entering its 4th year, the conference features speakers, workshops, resources and networking opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses. Charlotte Convention Center. Cost: $50 for general public, $40 for students with valid school email, $75 at the door

CIAA Career Expo, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. — Meet with 60+ vendors offering a wide selection of available job opportunities. Charlotte Convention Center. Cost: Free, but pre-registration is encouraged.

Toyota Green Initiative CIAA Volunteer Day, 2–5 p.m. — Join Johnson C. Smith University in revitalizing the school’s Sustainability Village Garden with gardening activities and tree seedling preparation. Cost: Free, but registration is requested.

DJ Cleve’s Old School Skate Party, 9 p.m. — You think you still got it on four wheels? Head out to Kate’s Skating Rink for some old school vibes. Cost: $15 and up

DJ Luke Nasty, 10 p.m. — DJ and rapper Luke Nasty, the High Point native who dropped the 2016 hit “Might Be,” performs live at Bakadi Lounge. Cost: $17 and up


CIAA Toyota Fan Fest, doors open at 5:30 a.m. — The two-day, family-friendly event kicks off with a live broadcast of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” from 6–10 a.m., followed by the high school band competition and the Queen City Cheer & Dance Classic Presented by U.Fit. Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Kandi Burruss is the evening’s featured entertainment. All events will be at the Charlotte Convention Center. Cost: Free

Black Food Truck Friday, 4-10 p.m.– Black Business Owners of Charlotte hosts a special CIAA edition of Food Truck Friday at Recess. Cost: Free admission (food not included)

CIAA Stepshow Throwdown, Greeks vs Greeks, doors open at 6 p.m. — Hosted by Wild’N Out’s Darren Brand, the show features teams representing all nine members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Charlotte Convention Center. Cost: $30

JEEZY Tournament Party, 9 p.m. — Check out the artist who brought you hits like “Put On” and “Soul Survivor.” Rooftop 210 at EpiCentre. Cost: $25 and up



CIAA Toyota Fan Fest, doors open at 8:30 a.m. — Fan Fest continues with CIAA Super Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. Enjoy performances from 11-year-old viral rap sensation That Girl Lay, a CIAA cheerleading exhibition, the Miss CIAA crowning ceremony and more. Fan Fest wraps up with a performance from rapper 2 Chainz. All events will be at the Charlotte Convention Center. Cost: Free

“LaDiDaDi” Day Party, 12-8 p.m. — The 8th annual event takes over South End Station (Oak Room, Slate, American Pub). Cost: $50 and up

The Hillman Day Party, 1-7 p.m. — Centerstage @ NoDa is the place to be for the third edition of this event. Cost: $0-$20

Tournament Takeover featuring Ludacris, 9 p.m. — The rapper/actor hosts the tournament party at Whiskey River at the EpiCentre. Cost: $40 and up


I Still Love The 90’s Brunch Party, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. — Close out your tournament weekend with a special CIAA edition of the popular day party. Cost: $10 and up

Henny & Waffles, 1-8 p.m. — Brunch and then turn up at the latest installment of the traveling event. Cost: $0-$40