Baltimore has been selected to host the 2021-2023 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
The tournament will bring the nation’s first African-American athletic conference to Baltimore, along with a fan expo, an education day and a career expo. The Division II tournament has been held in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2005 and will continue to be held there until it moves to Baltimore.
“We are honored to have been chosen as the host city for the CIAA’s 2021-2023 tournaments,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said in a statement. “We are thrilled that the CIAA organization has recognized what we all know very well — Baltimore is a city of unsurpassed hospitality and civic and cultural amenities that make it a destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.”
Visit Baltimore expects at least 10,000 hotel room nights will be used. Last year, the tournament had $50 million in economic impact and attracted more than 140,000 attendees, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority said.
Visit Baltimore will do its own economic impact study the after the first tournament in 2021.
The CIAA was founded in 1912 and is made up of 13 historically black colleges and universities, including Maryland’s Bowie State University, which will serve as the host of the tournament.
“As president of the only CIAA school in Maryland, I am excited that the City of Baltimore has been selected as the new home for the CIAA Basketball Tournament,” Aminta Breaux, the university’s president, said in a statement. “Baltimore has a rich history in basketball and sport. … The Conference Board is looking forward to introducing sports enthusiasts throughout the Mid-Atlantic corridor to the CIAA tournament experience.”
Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, said the tournament could be an opportunity for Baltimore during the last week of February, a traditionally slow period for the city’s restaurants and hotels.