What it will take to keep the CIAA in Charlotte - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

What it will take to keep the CIAA in Charlotte

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It's still unclear if the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) will remain in Charlotte for the popular and profitable tournament. Charlotte has to re-bid.

While city officials wait for the Request for Proposal (RFP), they are anticipating leaders from the CIAA will want more money for its scholarship fund.

"Hopefully we will meet the ask," Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon said. "Because we do recognize and understand every child deserves a quality education of higher learning."

For the past nine years Charlotte has contributed about $1 million to CIAA's scholarship fund. But the CIAA event has pumped about $47 million to the local economy. Some believe the city can do better.

"There needs to be a creative way thought of, "Cannon said. "In terms of some of those revenues that can be realized, rather than have promoters come in here from other parts of the country and take those dollars back home from where they may have come from."

Each year there are several parties thrown to attract the CIAA crowd.  The profit from some of those parties don't make it back to the CIAA to help with the scholarship fund. Cannon thinks that should change. 

He propose business who rent out their venues and promoters who charge for events, use some of their profits to help increase the scholarship amount.  He thinks the CIAA and the city can partner together on this idea. 

"Figure out how revenue streams can be realized," Cannon said. "I think that is something worth exploring."

Several businesses that rent out their space know the value of keeping the CIAA in town.

"It's definitely a week that we look forward to," Blue Restaurant General Manager Scott Daniel said. "Knowing that it's going to do very well for us."

They told WBTV they are willing to discuss giving up some of their profits to help boost the scholarship fund.

"We would love to keep the tournament in Charlotte," Whiskey River Sales Manager Erica Bear said. "I know that there are a lot of cities who would love to have it as well, so we are hoping arrangements can be made to keep it here."

We contacted CIAA commissioner Jacqie Carpenter about this creative idea.  She likes it and says hopefully Charlotte will know soon what it will take to keep the tournament in the Queen City.

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