CIAA Basketball Tournament comes to Baltimore

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 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is comprised of 12 private and public colleges and universities with enrollments ranging from 750 to over 8,000 students. Eighty percent of CIAA alumni reside in District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia.

The CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament is a single-elimination basketball tournament played during the last week in February, featuring all 12 CIAA men’s and women’s basketball teams. The format features 22 games (11 men’s games and 11 women’s games) played over a five-day period. In Baltimore the games will be played at Royal Farms Arena and the Baltimore Convention Center will be used for ancillary events.

The tournament has attracted over 190,000 fans during the course of the week and is now touted as the third highest attended basketball tournament among all NCAA divisions. Over the past 10 years, the CIAA Basketball Tournament has generated over $325 million in economic impact for Charlotte, N.C., while annually generating over $55 million for the host city.

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