Local News

New Arena May Help Lure CIAA Tournament To Queen City

Posted February 25, 2004

— Raleigh and Charlotte are fighting over the right to host the CIAA tournament in the future. Both cities boast plenty of hotels and restaurants and venues for extra events. Officials believe it will ultimately come down to which city can generate the most revenue for the CIAA schools.

Raleigh wants another shot at hosting the CIAA Tournament and the millions of dollars that comes with it. Assistant City Manager Lawrence Wray said the city will have to sweeten the deal to keep this tournament at the RBC Center.

"We're going to make the commitment we can fulfill," he said. "Our strong point is going to be how much money we can give back to the schools."

Last year, that money to the schools amounted to about $300,000.

Charlotte is already building a foundation to lure the CIAA to the Queen City. The construction of a new 20,000-seat arena in Charlotte will be completed by next year -- the same time Raleigh's CIAA contract runs out.

"We have great hotels. We'll have a new arena. We'll have the Bobcats. We'll have what's necessary for this bid," said Dr. Dorothy Yancy, president of Johnson C. Smith University.

Yancy and the other CIAA college presidents will have a say about the tournament's future. Dr. Diane Suber, president of St. Augustine's College, believes the package with the best benefits for students should stand out.

"It really is, for us, a business decision and one that will impact a number of variables relative to our institutions," Suber said.

There are a couple of other cities interested in hosting the event such as Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. The CIAA plans to make a decision about the next three year contract, that begins in 2006, by September.

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