Charlotte, NC (June 5, 2017) - The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) records its fourth highest economic impact of $47.4 million during the 2017 Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament hosted at the end of February in Charlotte, North Carolina. Overall visitors to Charlotte for this year's tournament ranged between 103,000 to 138,000.
The conference added Bojangles' Coliseum to its official venue footprint in 2017 to host early-round basketball game sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and continued with the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship finals at Spectrum Center on Thursday through Saturday. The collective game attendance for both venues was more than 69,000 fans throughout the week.
"Our first year at Bojangles' Coliseum was a successful start and we are excited about our growth there," stated Dr. James Anderson, Chairman of the CIAA Board of Directors. "Moving early-round games there provided us with an opportunity to expand our reach in the Charlotte community and offer an exciting atmosphere for our student-athletes, alumni, and fans."
CIAA supports the community
Throughout tournament week, CIAA staff, student-athletes, and corporate partners demonstrated their commitment to service through CIAA Supports community initiatives.
Food Lion and Nationwide helped celebrate more than 300 student-athletes and their achievements during the Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament Tip-Off Luncheon.
Over 4,600 high and middle school students from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and surrounding counties were reached during the annual CIAA Education Day program, while 721 pairs of new shoes were provided to Merry Oaks Elementary students as a part of the Shoes of Hope initiative, in partnership with Samaritan's Feet and Coke Zero. Along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the conference presented a one-day 'Finding Your Path to the Student-Athlete Experience' workshop to educate 250 future student-athletes about competing at the collegiate level. Also, approximately $1.4 million were raised in scholarship funds for current and future students to receive an education across the CIAA's 12 member institutions.
The CIAA Career Expo drew a crowd of 356 attendees and 65 vendors that included potential employers and recruiters with an opportunity to meet recent graduates, graduation candidates, current students from CIAA member schools and area universities, as well as local residents seeking job opportunities.
Toyota Fan Fest and McDonald's Super Saturday, part of the tournament's annual lineup of free activities for families, welcomed over 20,000 students, alumni, and fans.
CIAA Tournament remains in Charlotte
The 2018 CIAA Tournament will be held in Charlotte, N.C. from February 27-March 3, 2018. Early-round basketball games will be played at Bojangles' Coliseum on February 27-28 and continue March 1-3 at Spectrum Center with quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals.
The conference plans to continue building upon its past year's efforts of including the Charlotte community and beyond into the fabric of the CIAA experience, from basketball games and family-friendly activities to community programs that focus on components such as employment, diversity and inclusion, and entrepreneurship.
"We're excited about the momentum generated thus far, as we continue to focus on enhancing the student-athlete experience, creating impactful programming, and refreshing our touch points through CIAA Supports community initiatives and official events," said Jacqie McWilliams, CIAA Commissioner. "It is part of the foundation that our conference stands on — Tradition, Leadership and Community."
Fans are encouraged to utilize the CIAA's hotel housing program, which provides tournament attendees with the best available rates for more than 25 hotel brands within and surrounding Uptown Charlotte. The variety of lodging options are within a short walk, Lynx rail stop, or quick car ride to Bojangles' Coliseum, Spectrum Center, and the Charlotte Convention Center where all of the official CIAA event action will be held.
Hotel reservations can be made today at www.ciaatournament.org/hotels or via phone at (844) 293-6678 on Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
About the CIAA
Founded in 1912, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is the first African American athletic conference and one of the most recognized conferences in Division II. The CIAA conducts 16 championships attended by more than 150,000 fans from around the country. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the CIAA is governed by the Presidents and Chancellors of its 12 member-institutions: Bowie State University, Chowan University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, The Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Livingstone College, Saint Augustine's University, Shaw University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University and Winston-Salem State University. For more information on the CIAA, visit theciaa.com. For more information on the CIAA Basketball Tournament, visit CIAATournament.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.