Watch CBS News

CIAA Tournament Kicks Off In Baltimore On Tuesday

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Over the span of five days competing basketball teams will play 22 games at the Royal Farms Arena as part of the 2022 CIAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament.

The Fayetteville State University and Livingstone College women's teams kicked off the action on Tuesday.

Twelve historically black colleges and universities participate in the tournament. They bring with them the excitement of live competition given that the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the 2021 tournament.

In fact, it has been 760 days since a champion has been crowned. 

The last time the tournament was held in Charm City was in 1952. It has spent the last 17 years in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"I couldn't be more proud, and thankful and grateful for the city of Baltimore," CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams said.

And the city is happy to have them, too, given that the tournament provides it with an economic boost during a historically slow time of the year.

"A lot of folks are going to be coming in from all over the country," President & CEO of Visit Baltimore Al Hutchinson said. "They're going to be spending money at our hotels, our restaurants, our attractions. So it's going to be a huge economic impact to the city."

Pre-pandemic, the tournament has had an annual economic impact of $50 million on the previous host city. Officials are unsure what the dollar amount will be this year but they say any boost is welcomed.

With the CIAA being the first historically black conference in the country, it's important for them to highlight the city's black-owned businesses.

"We produced a black owners directory so folks can go to restaurants, attractions, and transportation companies," Hutchinson said.

For attendees like Bowie State Alumni Ryan Deveaux, this is a great opportunity to catch some great basketball with his daughters

"I just wanted to give them the experience of seeing this and taking it all in," Deveaux said.

There is a week's worth of activities with the CIAA Fan Fest, concerts, and career fairs planned. 

Single-game and tournament passes are still available.

Last week, kids from across the city worked on their basketball skills and learned about the history of the CIAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament at a sports clinic at Under Armor House.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.