CIAA Could Move Out Of Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, NC - The CIAA commissioner says there aren't enough hotels in Charlotte and that could cost the city the tournament.
Donell Lewis hasn't missed a CIAA Tournament since 1971. He says Charlotte is a top notch host.
"It's a vibrant feel, more like a party that lasts for a week," said Lewis.
The party keeps growing! Eight years ago, the tournament brought 165,000 visitors to Charlotte. Since then, its reached almost 200,000.
According to the Charlotte Regional Visitor's Authority, there are only 46,000 rooms set aside for the tournament.
"They're booked up right after the CIAA, so when it's over, they book them again!" said Thomas Mills, a Winston Salem resident.
Mills has been trying to a get a room for years. He say it's "Difficult! Haven't gotten one."
Tournament teams also have trouble - forcing players to spread out across the city. The CIAA commissioner says that could push the tournament out of Charlotte.
"Where else could we go other than Atlanta and there are no CIAA schools there or even in Georgia," said Lewis.
The CRVA says it's confident the Queen City can handle the tournament for years to come. Two new Uptown hotels are in the works - an Embassy Suites near the NASCAR Hall of Fame and another near the new Knight's Stadium.
"I've been to Norfolk, Richmond, Raleigh and Winstom Salem... but there's nothing like the CIAA here in Charlotte. The best!" said Peggy Lide, a West Charlotte resident.
Charlotte's contract to host the CIAA is up in 2014.
In just a few weeks, bidding opens up to other cities who want to host and a decision could be made as early as summer.