CIAA Commissioner: Additional Hotel Rooms Key To Keeping Tournament In Charlotte
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter on Saturday said that she "wants the basketball tournament to stay in Charlotte but would like to see more hotel space uptown for participating team members, families and sponsors," according to Cameron Steele of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority "secured 46,000 rooms across the area for CIAA members and sponsors over the course of the week." Carpenter said that the problem during last week's tournament was there "weren’t enough rooms reserved in the center city for the CIAA." Hotel and city officials are "looking for ways to keep the CIAA sweet on Charlotte." The city’s eight-year contract with the tournament is "up next year." Other cities this spring will "get to bid for the chance to play host." But Charlotte -- and its $1M guarantee for the tournament -- also is "important to the CIAA, which is struggling to make up a $200,000 deficit this year after a decline in ticket sales, loss of sponsorship and unexpected legal fees." The tournament in '11 generated $2.7M in revenue for the CIAA, and the conference's "total revenue that year" was $5.7M (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/3). Carpenter said, "I haven’t talked to anybody but Charlotte, and I know they want it back. But you hear the buzz that Raleigh might be the place or maybe Washington, D.C. ... And with [Winston-Salem], I’m not sure, but there’s plenty of speculation." She added, "The money that’s generated from this tournament is significant. And that’s a good thing because it does have an economic impact on the city where this is held. But we also want more of that economic impact going toward the schools and the CIAA" (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 3/5).