Charlotte Seeks 3 More Years To Host CIAA Basketball Tournament
Charlotte officials say they'll submit a bid later this summer to host the CIAA college basketball championships for three more years after the current contract expires in 2020. The city council's Economic Development Committee was briefed on the situation Monday afternoon.
The city has hosted the men's and women's tournaments since 2006. Conference officials announced earlier this month that they'll seek bids from Charlotte and other cities for the 2021, 22 and 23 events.
Mike Butts of Visit Charlotte told the committee he discussed Charlotte's planned bid with CIAA commissioner Jacqui McWilliams last week.
"Commissioner McWilliams said this past year was the smoothest ever," Butts said, "And it has felt that way to us as well. So we'll look forward to extending the relationship."
Heath Dillard of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority reported Monday that the 2018 tournament had a $50 million impact on the Charlotte economy, generated $2 million in local taxes and created 436 jobs. He said most visitors come not only for the basketball, but to reunite with classmates and friends.
After the CIAA announced it was seeking new bids, conference board chair James Anderson said the league might like to go elsewhere. He told WFAE the conference has been consistently unhappy with the treatment of tournament-goers by the city’s hospitality industry.
But Dillard said hotel rates that peaked at an average $269 a night in 2016, fell to $252 this year.
September 9 is the deadline for proposals. The CIAA is expected to pick a new site in by December 14.