How long will CIAA stay in Charlotte? - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

How long will CIAA stay in Charlotte?

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Next year could be the last year for the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) taking place in Charlotte.  Charlotte's contract is up and CIAA has to decide if it wants to stay in the Queen City.  Tournament's board of directors will make that decision.

"I'm a strong proponent of competition," Board of Director Dianne Suber said.  "It's better. You bring out your big guns."

Some think it's time for a change in location.

"Personally I think it should go someplace else," CIAA fan Gerald Mitchell said. "I think the other cities should see the CI experience and the revenue."

Other cities have expressed interest in hosting the profitable tournament. Charlotte Mayor Pro-Tem Patrick Cannon wants to keep the tournament in Charlotte but knows it will be more challenging this time around.

"We want to be conscious with what we do put out there," Cannon said. "But it will be something creative and very hard to for the CIAA to turn down."

Cannon says despite the fact other cities have expressed interest in hosting the CIAA, the city leader thinks Charlotte still has more to offer than other cities.  Some even want it to go back to Raleigh.

"There's nothing stale that Charlotte would offer," Cannon said. "Large in part people live in convenience and it's convenience we offer right here right now in Center City unlike what it is Raleigh."

The new CIAA Commissioner says want the tournament wants this time around has changed and hopes Charlotte can deliver. Cheaper hotel prices and more hotel space are now a must.

"It will look a little different than it has in the past," CIAA Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter said. "It will ensure we have some hotel inventory. We have some space inventory, so our sponsors can have some events, our teams can have some events. We want our teams closer to the venue, right now we have teams all over the place."

While the commissioner is looking for more hotel space, Cannon will also try to look for more money to help with CIAA scholarships.

"Work with the CIAA to see what it is we can do to ante up," Cannon said. "The amount of scholarship fund for the CIAA."

The bidding process will begin in the spring.

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