CIAA Tournament in Charlotte? How About Raleigh?
Posted February 27, 2008 11:27 p.m. EST
Updated February 28, 2008 6:39 a.m. EST
Charlotte, N.C. — The Queen City is king for a week with the CIAA Basketball Tournament. Since the event moved in 2006, Charlotte has scored major points with fans as a host city.
“I like it. I feel good with the tournament here in Charlotte,” Raleigh resident R.L. Holmes said.
Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said he plans to make a play for the tournament when its contract comes up in 2011. With the new convention center, Fayetteville Street will easily rival uptown Charlotte, Raleigh officials believe.
Based on the numbers from tournament organizers, the CIAA brought in more than $25 million in Charlotte and attracted about 165,000 fans last year.
Some Triangle fans with whom WRAL spoke with said they are all for Raleigh benefiting from the tournament again.
“I would love it if it moves back to Raleigh. I know Raleigh, and Raleigh treated us very well,” Raleigh resident Theresa Holmes said.
“It did not appear to be as much price-gouging in Raleigh as it is here (Charlotte). It was just better in Raleigh,” Shaw University graduate Janie Baker said.
Other fans, however, are not ready to stop what has become an annual road trip.
“The people here (in Charlotte) are so nice. They make you feel right at home,” R.L. Holmes said.
"'Why Charlotte?' A lot more to do and for selfish reasons – my family is here,” Malcolm Pharr said.
CIAA commissioner Leon Kerry said he will consider an offer from Raleigh when negotiating the next three-year contract.