Your ultimate guide to CIAA 2019

Photo by David T. Foster III
Johnson C. Smith fans cheer late in the game as the women’s team plays Virginia Union during their CIAA Tournament semifinals game at Spectrum Center last year.

After one basketball event ends, another one begins. The 2019 CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) Basketball Tournament — the nation’s first African-American athletic conference — is back in Charlotte the week of February 25-March 2. The men’s and women’s basketball tournament will be played at both Bojangles’ Coliseum and Spectrum Center. The complete tournament schedule can be found here.

Enjoy it while it’s here — it’s been announced that the tournament is relocating to Baltimore in 2021.

[Related: Charlotte takes massive tourism and economic hit with CIAA relocation]

Here’s everything else you need to know:

Participating Teams

  • Bowie State University
  • Chowan University
  • Claflin University
  • Elizabeth City State University
  • Fayetteville State University
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • Lincoln University
  • Livingstone College
  • Shaw University
  • St. Augustine’s University
  • Virginia State University
  • Virginia Union University
  • Winston-Salem State University

[Related: Let’s have a responsible conversation about the CIAA tournament and Charlotte]


The CIAA basketball games will be held at Bojangles’ Coliseum from February 25-27, and at Spectrum Center from February 28-March 2. You can still get tickets here. You can also view the games on the CIAA’s live stream.

CIAA Events

February 28

2019 CIAA Career Expo

Details: This expo is designed for recent graduates, current students from CIAA member-schools, career seekers, plus employers looking to increase visibility. Expo Vendors include Lyft, AccruePartners, BB&T, Toyota, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and more. Details.

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Charlotte Convention Center (Grand Ballroom) | 501 S. College St.

March 1

2019 John B. McLendon CIAA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Details: The CIAA will induct Dr. S. Dallas Simmons, former North Carolina Central University administrator and President of St. Paul’s College and Virginia Union University; Antwain Smith, former basketball standout at St. Paul’s College; James “Jim” Burch, former basketball official and CIAA Coordinator; and these other inductees for their excellence in the CIAA.

9 a.m.

Price: Individual tickets are $50. A table of 10 is $400. For tickets.

Where: Charlotte Convention Center | 501 S. College St.

March 1-2

The CIAA Toyota Fan Fest

Details: The two-day event open to the public will offer tons of family-friendly events, interactive sponsor activations, concerts and more. Events include performances by 2 Chainz and Kandi Burruss, a live recording of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, CIAA Cheerleading Exhibition and a Fuzion Force performance. For more.

March 1: 5:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
March 2: 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Price: FREE

Where: Charlotte Convention Center | 501 S. College St.

CIAA Weekend Parties

March 1

TOP of the TOP Epicentre Rooftop Day Party

Details: Hosts Culture19 is inviting 1,000 guests to the Epicentre’s rooftop for the ultimate day party. For more.

12 p.m.-7 p.m.

Price: $15-$750

Where: Rooftop 210 | 210 East Trade St., #B320

March 2

Tournament Takeover featuring Ludacris

Details: The man, the myth, the legend, Ludacris, is headed to Whisky River to play his iconic hits like “Stand Up” and Unpredictable. Tickets will sell out to this event. Get yours here.

9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Price: $25-$1,500

Where: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Whisky River at the Epicentre | 210 East Trade St., #A-208

Royale at the Ritz

Details: Inside the 5-star hotel, you’ll find some of the nation’s top DJs, multiple bar stations, two separate ballroom parties and more. Get your tickets here.

9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Price: $25-$700

Where: The Ritz-Carlton’s Grand Ballroom | 201 E. Trade St.

Kings & Queens Day Party

Details: Get your party on and listen to music by DJ Hukher from OldSchool 105.3 along with a live performance from Aly-Us. Other ticket options for the tournament weekend parties include access to a Chicken & Beer Day Party and an Old School House Party.

12 p.m.-7 p.m.

Price: Tickets start at $10 and go up to $1,500. Get yours here.

Where: Extravaganza Depot | 1610 N. Tryon St.

March 3

Bon Voyage Brunch at Blackfinn

Details: End your CIAA weekend on a high note as you enjoy DJ Mickyblendz paired with brunch bites by Chef Lito. For more.

Price: $10

Where: Blackfinn at the Epicentre | 210 East Trade St., #120-B

You can find a full list of other parties including an I Love the 90’s Party and a Dirty South vs. Everybody Party.

Images by the CIAA Tournament and


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