By: CIAA Sports
Tournament Week to Feature In-Person Events Including Fan Fest, High School Education Day, CIAA Career Expo, Super Saturday, Diversity & Inclusion Panel, John B. McClendon Jr Hall of Fame Breakfast, and more
–The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA®) , the nation’s oldest historically Black athletic conference, announced today that the 2023 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament will be held in-person at the newly renamed CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, MD on February 21-25.
This is a significant year for the CIAA Basketball Championship Tournament as it marks Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams’ 10-year Anniversary with the CIAA; and the historic 50th Anniversary of Title IX. This year’s tournament will also mark the unveiling of CFG Arena’s $200 million renovation backed by celebrity investors including basketball star and Maryland-raised Kevin Durant, Grammy Award-winning musician Pharrell Williams and pro football Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis.
Title IX – 50th Anniversary
As the country celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Title IX civil rights law, the conference is proud to be one of the few tournaments to feature both male and female competitions during the same week and at the same facility. It also boasts the first female Commissioner of the CIAA and the first-ever appointed African American female Commissioner in the NCAA across Divisions I, II and III. CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams, a two-sport star athlete at Hampton University, was a member of the 1988 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball national championship team and the 1987 and 1990 CIAA Volleyball championship teams. She was inducted into the Hampton University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018 and was a member of the 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame class at Virginia Union University, where she was the school’s first volleyball coach of the NCAA era and became the first female assistant coach of a men’s basketball program in the CIAA.
“I’m incredibly honored to be celebrating my 10-year anniversary as Commissioner in the same year that we celebrate the historic 50th Anniversary of Title IX – it’s a full circle moment for me,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “I started out as a student-athlete playing in the CIAA, and now I’m able to honor the sport in a different way by not only sharing the experience with the community, but also by providing opportunities and access for the next generation.”
CIAA Impact on Baltimore Community
The CIAA Basketball Championship Tournament is a precursor to March Madness, and also intentionally falls during the last week in February, timed to Black History Month. As one of the country’s top 10 cities with the highest percentage of Black or African-American residents, one that celebrates and amplifies Black culture, Baltimore is the perfect destination for the CIAA Tournament. The 2022 tournament was a smashing success for both Baltimore economically and culturally, welcoming over 66,000 attendees over 22 games. The tournament immediately became a huge economic success for the city of Baltimore. The CIAA Tournament’s direct spending impact of $13.9 million generated a total economic impact of $19.6 million in the local economy, which supported 1,159 part-time and full-time jobs and generated $1.9 million in state and local taxes.
“The CIAA is an occasion that celebrates Black excellence and culture while bringing together student athletes, coaches, sports fans, celebrities and the business community,” said Al Hutchinson, President and CEO of Visit Baltimore. “We are excited to bring the tournament’s energy back to Baltimore and hope to see both out-of-town fans and locals come to experience the championship games at the newly revamped CFG arena as well as the community events happening throughout the week.”
Beginning today through February 13, media can now request a credential to the 2022-23 CIAA Tournament by visiting HERE.
In addition to the 22 games featured in this year’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament, the CIAA will again offer fan-favorite events for all ages, including Fan Fest, High School Education Day, CIAA Career Expo, Super Saturday, The 7th Annual Samaritan’s Feet “Shoes of Hope” initiative, The John B. McClendon Jr. CIAA Hall of Fame Breakfast, and other exciting events. The CIAA is partnering with Visit Baltimore to offer the 2nd annual series of town halls and symposiums to include a Tech House Summit, Money Moves Financial Summit, CIAA Men’s & Women’s Student-Athlete Symposium, Health & Mental Wellness Forum, and more.
Additionally, fans will enjoy the annual entertainment events happening during Tournament week such as the CIAA Legends of Hip Hop Party, CIAA High School and Greek Step Shows, CIAA Alumni party and others. Artists confirmed to perform include Doug E. Fresh, L’il Mo, DJ Kool, Rare Essence, Kid Capri, Slick Rick, KRS-One, Chubb Rock and more.
To ensure that all appropriate COVID-19 health and safety protocols are being addressed, the following safety plan and guidelines* will be in effect throughout Tournament week:
- Face coverings for patrons at the CIAA Basketball Tournament will be optional for all games at the CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.
- Vaccinations are recommended but not required.
- Face coverings for those attending any official ancillary events during CIAA Tournament Week will be optional.
*Guidelines and Protocols are subject to change at any given time due to recommendations provided by the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, Center for Disease Control (CDC), NCAA Sports Science Institute, and the CIAA Athletic Trainers Association.General admission ticket packages, which include all men’s and women’s games held during the tournament week, are available via Ticketmaster by visiting HERE. Fans, alumni, and attendees wishing to make hotel reservations can select and book their lodging for Baltimore by contacting ConferenceDirect or by calling 844-293-6678.
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