As the CIAA basketball tournament prepares to bid adieu to the Queen City (at least for now), the conference announced Friday that it will host a spades tournament in 2020 to be held in the Charlotte Convention Center during Fan Fest.
We’re talking winner-takes-all with a cash prize of $2,000.
The competition will be open to participants 18 and older, and teams of two will pay $75 to enter the tournament. The entry fee was set to commemorate the conference’s 75th anniversary basketball tournament.
In a statement sent to media, the CIAA said the impetus for the tournament began as an April Fool’s Day social media spoof sent out earlier this year. “What came next was an influx of inquiries, calls and social media engagement that took the CIAA by surprise,” the conference said in the statement.
“The number of calls to our office was amazing. Families, friends and co-workers were ready to sign up immediately,” CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams said.
McWilliams said the game of spades is a part of HBCU and black culture in America.
“There are not many family reunions or social gatherings without a competitive game of spades,” she said.
The conference has signed with PremiumSpades to manage the competition.
To register, go to premiumspades.com/ciaa. Teams may begin registering immediately. Pricing will increase after December 1.
The deadline to register is February 15, 2020, and the competition will be capped at 200 teams.
The CIAA announced in January that it would move its popular basketball tournament from Charlotte to Baltimore starting in 2021. Charlotte has been home to the tournament since 2006.