CIAA Selects Baltimore to Host Annual Basketball Tournament | Sports Destination Management

CIAA Selects Baltimore to Host Annual Basketball Tournament

Jan 10, 2019
Nation's First African American Athletic Conference is First New Location for the Event Since 2005

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA®), the nation’s first African American athletic conference, has selected Baltimore as the official site of the 2021-2023 CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament.  The announcement, made by the CIAA Board of Directors, comes after a thorough and comprehensive process which included site visits to each city to assess athletic facilities, convention center, hotels, and restaurant options for the popular week-long event. Additionally, three cities selected as finalists, delivered in-person presentations during the Board’s fall meeting in Charlotte in early December.  

Charlotte, NC, and Norfolk, VA, were among the finalists.   

“This is an exciting time for the CIAA as we have an opportunity to bring the basketball tournament to a new market, moving it closer to many of our northern institutions who have travelled to Charlotte for more than a decade,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “We are incredibly thankful for our partnership between the CIAA, the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA).  Charlotte is still our home, we are still headquartered here. We have built life-long friendships with our partners and the community that goes beyond the tournament. We plan to continue this great relationship.” 

The tournament has been held in Charlotte for the past 13 years and will remain in the city for the 2019 and 2020 tournaments. 

The selection of Baltimore marks the first new location for the CIAA Basketball Tournament since 2005.  From the tournament’s inception, the popular championship series has been held in Washington, DC, Norfolk and Richmond, VA, Raleigh and Greensboro, NC.  Baltimore previously hosted the championship for one year, in 1951. 

 “The teams and cities that presented their bids to the Board of Directors were energetic and impressive. What stood out about Baltimore was their vision of how the CIAA Basketball Tournament could be woven into the fabric of the city. Also important was Baltimore’s commitment to provide scholarships for the CIAA institutions and overall support of the hotel and business communities,” said CIAA Board Chair and Fayetteville State University President Dr. James A. Anderson. Key community activities featured within the tournament, such as Education Day, the Career Expo and Toyota Fan Fest will continue in Baltimore as well. 

“We are honored to have been chosen as the host city for the CIAA’s 2021-2023 tournaments. We are thrilled that the CIAA organization has recognized what we all know very well – Baltimore is a city of unsurpassed hospitality and civic and cultural amenities that make it a destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors annually,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “We look forward to welcoming the CIAA, its players and many fans, and to hosting these major tournaments in a way that demonstrates what a truly great city we are, and what a great decision this will be for all.”  

Located in the growing DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) corridor, where a robust CIAA alumni community resides, Baltimore is a short drive from member institution Bowie State University. “As president of the only CIAA school in Maryland, I am excited that the City of Baltimore has been selected as the new home for the CIAA Basketball Tournament. Baltimore has a rich history in basketball and sport. City officials, including Mayor Catherine Pugh, presented a strong, comprehensive plan to support?CIAA teams and welcome our fans to the city,” said Dr. Aminta Breaux, Bowie State University President. “The Conference Board is looking forward to introducing sports enthusiasts throughout the Mid-Atlantic corridor to the CIAA tournament experience.” 

“With attendees arriving by road, rail and air, the CIAA-Baltimore partnership offers a tremendous opportunity to showcase and benefit the greater Baltimore region as well as the entire State of Maryland. We are especially excited to highlight Baltimore’s sports history and venues as well as Maryland’s great educational institutions like Bowie State,” said Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford on behalf of the Hogan Administration.  

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 14 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 13 member-institutions: Bowie State University, Chowan University, Claflin University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, 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 For more information on the CIAA Basketball Tournament, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

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