The CIAA: The annual basketball tournament draws a crowd

AJC Sepia Black History Month


The 2017 CIAA Basketball Tournament will be held Feb. 21-25 in Charlotte, N.C., and if history is any guide, the annual event is likely to draw more than 150,000 fans to North Carolina’s Queen City.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association was founded and incorporated in Washington in 1912 as the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association and adopted its current name in 1950. It consists of 12 member institutions, most of them historical black colleges and universities.

In 2012, then-first lady Michelle Obama visited to celebrate the organization’s 100th year, and joined young people on the court as part of her Let’s Move initiative.

The CIAA Basketball Tournament moved from Raleigh to Charlotte in 2006. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority and CIAA in 2014 signed a six-year extension to keep the tournament in Charlotte, the Charlotte Observer reported at the time.

A year later, the CRVA issued a report reflecting the tournament’s economic impact: “The CIAA Tournament contributes $30 million in direct visitor spending to Charlotte’s economy annually. Not only does the tournament boost the city’s economic base, but it also contributes to Charlotte’s reputation as a rising destination that embraces diverse audiences and offers a plethora of intellectual, cultural, social and recreational opportunities.”

Tournament week features not only men’s and women’s basketball games but events such as a career expo, and old-school skate show, step shows and concerts. See ciaatournament.org for details and ticket information.

CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Throughout February, we’ll spotlight a different African-American pioneer in the daily Living section Monday through Thursday and Saturday, and in the Metro section on Fridays and Sundays. Go to myAJC.com/black-history-month for more subscriber exclusives on people, places and organizations that have changed the world, and to see videos on the African-American pioneer featured here each day.



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