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Raleigh Wins CIAA Tournament Bid

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RALEIGH — The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association will hold its men's and women's basketball tournaments in Raleigh from 2000 through 2002, conference officials said Wednesday.

The CIAA's board of directors picked Raleigh over Fayetteville; Richmond, Va.; and Winston-Salem, which has hosted the tournaments for the last five years.

The CIAA said Raleigh got the tournament primarily because three teams in the conference are in the Triangle. Plus, the new sports arena will be ready to host the games in 2000.

"The deciding factors in selecting Raleigh as the new host city were its proximity to all member schools, ... and expanded opportunities to attract corporate support," said Bernard Franklin, chairman of the CIAA board.

The CIAA, a Division II conference, is made up of 12 historically black colleges and universities including North Carolina Central, Shaw andSaint Augustine'sfrom the Triangle. It was founded in 1912.

The announcement capped off a year-long effort by Raleigh's presentation team to place their bid for the tournament.

"I am just ecstatic that the presidents have seen fit to bring the CIAA to Raleigh," Wake County Commissioner Vernon Malone said. "This is the first time in the history of the tournament that it will have been in Raleigh during its 55-year history.

The Fayetteville team that made a bid came in a disappointing third place behind Raleigh and Winston-Salem. A lack of seats in its arena was a deciding factor.

"We gave it our best shot, and that's all you can do in this life is get out there and do the best you can," Fayetteville bid team member Doug Traub said. "When you do the best you can and it doesn't happen, then it wasn't meant to be."

The 12-team tournaments were sought by several cities because they usually attract significant revenue to the host's economy. Attendance for the 1998 six-day joint tournament was more than 42,000 people, and theWinston-Salem Convention and Visitors Bureauestimated that the tournament had an economic impact on the city of almost $8 million.


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