CIAA hoops tournament to weigh future location
Posted February 28, 2013
Charlotte, N.C. — Thursday marks day four of the six-day CIAA tournament in Charlotte. The conference is in its 101st season and a quick overview of the attendance suggests a successful event. The truth of the economics, however, goes beyond the spectators.
The tournament is running at a roughly $200,000 deficit because of a drop in sponsorships and ongoing legal issues. For those reasons and more, new CIAA Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter has some tough decisions to make surrounding the tournament’s future, not the least of which is the host city starting in 2015.
When Raleigh hosted the tournament from 2001-05, the estimated economic impact was about $10 million annually. This spring, Carpenter and the CIAA Board of Directors will discuss the options for the tournament's future venue.
“We have to figure out what's most important for this tournament and where it needs to be,” Carpenter said. “From that, we can figure out is Raleigh the best place, is Charlotte the best place, is Winston-Salem or Richmond or where ever it is?”
Raleigh last hosted the CIAA tournament in 2005 at what is now PNC Arena. Raleigh leaders say the tournament was well supported and boosted tourism. Triangle area CIAA fans say they are open to the possibility of the tournament moving back to Raleigh.
“It'll be wonderful for those who don't get to come to this area to enjoy it in the Raleigh/Durham area,” said Durham resident Vickie Howard.
Dr. Diane Suber, President of St. Augustine's University and a member of the CIAA Board of Directors, says she supports a possible move back to Raleigh.
“I think it now does have the kind of facilities, the kind of entertainment, the kind of convenience, that it didn't have seven or eight years ago,” Suber said of Raleigh.
Raleigh city leaders say that the event is definitely something they will consider when the bid packages go out this spring. A decision by the conference is expected later this summer.