BALTIMORE, MD (January 17, 2023) – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA®), the oldest historically black athletic conference in the nation, today announced that the 2023 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament will be held in person at the new 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’ 10th 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-winning musician Pharrell Williams and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis.
Title IX – 50th Anniversary
As the country celebrates the Title IX 50th Anniversary civil law, the conference is proud to be one of the few tournaments to offer both men’s and women’s competitions during the same week and at the same facility. It also benefits from the first female commissioner of the CIAA and the first African-American woman appointed commissioner in the NCAA in 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 CIAA volleyball in 1987 and 1990. She was inducted into the Hampton University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018 and was a member of the 2021 class of the Athletics Hall of Fame at the Virginia Union University, where she was the first female volleyball coach of the NCAA era and became the first assistant coach of a CIAA men’s basketball program.
“I’m incredibly honored to celebrate my 10th anniversary as Commissioner in the same year that we celebrate the historic 50th anniversary of Title IX – it’s a coming of age 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 providing opportunities and access to the next generation.”
Impact of the CIAA on the Baltimore community
The CIAA Basketball Championship Tournament is a precursor to the march madness, and also intentionally falls during the last week of February, scheduled for Black History Month. As one of the top 10 cities in the nation with the highest percentage of black or African American residents, a city that celebrates and amplifies black culture, Baltimore is the perfect destination for the CIAA tournament. The 2022 tournament was a resounding success for Baltimore both economically and culturally, welcoming more than 66,000 participants over 22 games. The tournament immediately became a huge economic success for the city of Baltimore. The direct impact of CIAA Tournament spending of $13.9 million generated a total economic impact of $19.6 million on 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 thrilled to bring the energy of the tournament back to Baltimore and hope to see out-of-town fans and locals alike come to experience the championship games in the newly renovated CFG arena as well as the community events taking place throughout throughout the week.”
Effective today through February 13, media can now request accreditation for 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”, The John B. McClendon Jr. CIAA Hall of Fame Breakfast, and other exciting events. The CIAA partners with Visit Baltimore to offer the 2nd Annual Series of Town Halls and Symposia to include a Tech House Summit, Money Moves Financial Summit, CIAA Men’s & Women’s Student-Athlete Symposium, Health & Mental Wellness Forumand more.
Additionally, fans will enjoy the annual entertainment events that take place during tournament week, such as the CIAA Legends of Hip Hop, CIAA High School and Greek Step Shows night, CIAA Alumni night 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 applied, the following safety plan and guidelines* will be in effect throughout the tournament week:
- Face coverings for CIAA Basketball Tournament patrons will be optional for all games at CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.
- Vaccinations are recommended but not mandatory.
- Face coverings for those attending official ancillary events during CIAA Tournament week will be optional.
*Guidelines and protocols are subject to change at any time due to recommendations provided by the City of Baltimore, State of Maryland, Center for Disease Control (CDC), NCAA Sports Science Institute, and CIAA Athletic Trainers Association.
General admission ticket packages, which include all men’s and women’s matches held during tournament week, are available through Ticketmaster by visiting HERE. Fans, alumni and attendees wishing to make hotel reservations can select and book accommodations for Baltimore by contacting ConferenceDirect or calling 844-293-6678.
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