One-on-one with CIAA Commissioner - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

One-on-one with CIAA Commissioner

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter says she is excited about this year's tournament in Charlotte. 

She says there are some changes fans can expect this year and suggests this could be the last year the tournament will be in Charlotte if there's a better offer.

"Everyone is anxious," Carpenter said. "About where we are going to go and what it is going to look like after Charlotte."

Carpenter says officials from cities like Brooklyn, Raleigh, Philadelphia, Greensboro, Atlanta, Washington, DC and Richmond have all expressed interest in hosting the CIAA. Charlotte says bring on the competition.

"We feel really good," Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon said. "About the ability to compete with any other city throughout the country."

By now the Request for Proposal (RFP) would have been sent out to cities interested, but that has not happened.

"No news is good news," Cannon said. "With the RFP not being before us right now, because maybe that means there could be room for an extension."

Carpenter says a RFP will go out.  There is a reason why it's been delayed.

"We've been so focused on the tournament," Carpenter said. "And trying to make sure we are prepared to have one of the best tournaments in our last year in Charlotte. And we are hoping in the next few days or so, we will be able get the RFP out to those cities that are interested."

The commissioner says the next host city must be in the best interest of the CIAA.

"We want to make sure," Carpenter said. "We can cover our cost for the tournament. That we have quality properties and hotels for our fans at reasonable prices and at the end of the tournament, we want to be able to have enough net receipts where we can give more back for our schools in scholarships."

While we wait to see if Charlotte will host another CIAA tournament, the commissioner says Charlotte has been a good place to do business.

"If you stay somewhere nine years," Carpenter said. "You obviously have to feel good about something."

This year fans can expect some changes.  Game tickets for the upper level seating have gone down. Last year the price was $75, now the price is $50. The reduction is helping with sales.  So far about 11,000 tickets have been sold. That's a little higher than this time last year.

Also CIAA has about an 800 room block.  If fans want to book a room under the CIAA, they first must buy a game ticket. Some have been turned away.

"Some of the changes that we have made have been quite difficult for some of our fans," the commissioner said.

The commissioner says she is looking forward to this year's tournament.  Many activities will take place she thinks fans should take advantage of. She says the CIAA will enforce the rule of promoters not using CIAA's name on their flyers to get a crowd.

"I think we have control of our trademark a lot better." Carpenter said.

She is very pleased this year the girls basketball championship will be televised.  That hasn't happened in a few years.

The first game starts Tuesday.

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