RALEIGH, N.C. — More than 100,000 people attended the 2004
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Basketball Tournament
in Raleigh. Now, the city wants to capitalize on the tournament's success.
Tuesday, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker announced fund raising will begin to raise $4.7 million to expand the CIAA's role in the capital city.
The city announced plans to establish a permanent CIAA Hall of Fame downtown. There are also plans to move the CIAA's headquarters from Hampton, Va. to Raleigh.
"The CIAA has been so successful here that we really want it to be a permanent part of our community in terms of the Hall of Fame as well as the headquarters being here. It's good business for us and also very good business for the CIAA. It should be a lot of fun for our residents and visitors to our community," Meeker said.
Raleigh hosts the tournament through 2005 and is working to land the tournament through 2008. It has become Raleigh's biggest income generator among sports and entertainment events and conventions held in Raleigh.
Leaders say the plans announced Tuesday are independent of whether he CIAA chooses Raleigh to host the basketball tournament for an unprecedented nine years.
Established in 1912, the CIAA is the nation's oldest black athletic conference, with
12 member institutions
, all of which are Historically Black Colleges and Universities spanning the east coast from Maryland to North Carolina. The three Triangle area CIAA schools are St. Augustine's College and Shaw University, both in Raleigh, and North Carolina Central University in Durham.