CIAA Basketball Tournament

February 25 - 29, 2020 in Charlotte, NC


The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), the nation’s oldest African American athletic conference, will host its 2020 Men’s & Women’s Basketball Tournament in Charlotte from February 25 – 29, 2020 and will feature the conference's 12-member institutions.

The 22-game tournament tips off in Bojangles’ Coliseum on Tuesday, February 25-Wendesday, February 26. The action moves to Spectrum Arena Thursday, February 27 and culminates in the men’s and women’s championship games on Saturday, February 29.

Ranked 3rd among the most attended and anticipated NCAA events, the CIAA Basketball Tournament brought over 150,000 fans to Charlotte in 2019 during the week of competition with an economic impact of $43.7 million. Since 2000, the CIAA has generated over $690 million in economic impact and an average of $550 million in the state of North Carolina.


All-Session 22 Game Ticket Packages are now on sale via Ticketmaster.

All-Session ticket holders receive access to twenty-two action packed games over 5 days, in-venue entertainment, giveaways, vendors, sponsors, and free events such as CIAA Fan Fest and Super Saturday. Center Court, Courtside and Founder's Level ticket holders will also have access to in-venue hospitality. Tickets are non-refundable or exchangeable.

Courtside, Founder's Level, group tickets and suites may be purchased directly from the CIAA Conference office.

Single-session tickets will go on sale in early February.


To book a hotel room as part of the official CIAA Tournament hotel block, click here.

Booking as part of the official CIAA hotel block helps support the CIAA and its 12-member institutions and ensures the lowest rates and best customer service during your stay in Charlotte.

Room rates do not include tax. Please see the individual hotel details for taxes and fees. At the time of reservation, a non-refundable deposit of $212 is required. Please refer to the individual hotel to determine when the remaining balance is due. There is a three-night minimum which begins on Thursday, March 1st. The hotel block closes on February 5, 2020.


In 1946, with a budget of $500, the first CIAA Men’s Basketball Tournament took place in Washington, DC. Some 3,000 fans attended that first event at Turner Arena to witness North Carolina Central upset Virginia Union University in triple overtime to claim the inaugural title. The Women’s Basketball Tournament was added in 1975 and has been hosted at the same time ever since. Over the past 7 + decades, the tournament has traveled from DC, to NC and VA before settling in Charlotte, NC in 2006. The 2020 season marks the 15thanniversary of the tournament in the Queen City.

Throughout the 2019-2020 season the CIAA will celebrate the rich history of an annual gathering to celebrate the best in CIAA basketball, while also serving as a cultural gathering for alumni and fans. Follow the history on social media with #CIAATourney75


Interested in supporting the CIAA Tournament as a volunteer? Volunteer registration will go live on Friday, November 30th. There will be a variety of dates and shift times available in the areas of hospitality and event assistance. Please email clt.volunteers@crva.com if you’re interested in being added to our volunteer database.


The CIAA is guided on the principals of Tradition, Leadership and Community and supports the Charlotte community with several events throughout the week.


Held on Friday and Saturday of CIAA Tournament week in the Charlotte Convention Center, this two-day event is free and open to the public. It features interactive sponsor activations, concert, Vendor Village and other family-friendly entertainment events. The final morning of Fan Fest features Lowe’s Super Saturday which includes a cheerleading competition, Miss CIAA Pageant, a DJ battles and much more. Over 18,000 fans attended the 2019 Fan Fest.


More than 4,300 fans, students and alumni cheer on College and High school step teams as they compete for prize money and bragging rights during the Tournament Weekend at the Charlotte Convention Center. For ticket information, go to ciaatournament.org.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Charlotte Convention Center- More than 550 qualified candidates, recent graduates and current students from CIAA member institutions are provided an opportunity to interact with over 60 organizations offering internships, graduate education, entry level employment and professional program opportunities. Open to the General public. Register at ciaatournament.org.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Geared toward minority and woman entrepreneurs and professionals, this event provides real-world training and insight from industry leaders in addition to networking opportunities. Register at ciaatournament.org.


Each year, close to 6,000 middle school and high school students from local Charlotte schools are exposed to inspirational speakers, demonstrations and meet and greets geared towards the value of staying in school and learning about post-graduate opportunities such as the college experience, military service and post-degree employment options.

Middle School STEM Day
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at Bojangles' Entertainment Complex

High School Education day
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at the Charlotte Convention Center


The CIAA provides opportunities for small businesses to vend in both Spectrum Arena and during Fan Fest. For more information on how to become a vendor at either location, go to ciaatournament.org.


Keep up with all the CIAA Tournament action with the mobile app. Find game times, team match-ups, scores, news and info on official CIAA events. Download the free The CIAA app, available on iphone and android, to access exclusive coupons, savings and offers at local restaurants and attractions in Charlotte during Tourney week.


From flavorful dining and fun nightlife to exhilarating adventures at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and U.S. National Whitewater Center, you’ll soon discover the ‘a lot’ that Charlotte’s got. For more information, request a free Charlotte City Guide to begin planning your getaway to the Queen City.


CIAA: theciaa.com
Tournament: ciaatournament.org


Keep up with the CIAA with the official CIAA mobile app. Find game times, team match-ups, scores, news and info on official CIAA events. Download the free CIAA app on iPhone and Android devices.


Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, has announced the 2019 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. Among the winners and for the second year in a row were the 2019 CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament, produced in cooperation with Charlotte Regional Visitor’s Authority (CRVA).

In 2019, the CIAA Tournament, a week-long celebration of Division II men’s and women’s basketball, attracted approximately 140,000 fans to Charlotte delivering a $43.7 million economic impact. It continues to be a top draw among collegiate basketball events, behind only the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Final Four in its popularity. In addition to crowning conference champions on the men’s and women’s teams, the CIAA events included Education Day programming for middle and high school students, a Career Expo, Step Shows, a Hall of Fame Celebration and a two-day Fan Fest for the local community.

According to the CRVA post-event survey, the tournament generated $25.6 million in direct visitor spending which supported 350 jobs and added $1.8 million to the city.