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CIAA renews Charlotte contract

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association last week said it is renewing its contract with Charlotte through 2014.

Last month, the Charlotte chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had called for major events, including the CIAA, to boycott Charlotte after public schools were closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a snow makeup day.

But the CIAA last week said it will continue to hold the event in Charlotte, with the 66th annual basketball tournament to take place in the city from Feb. 28 to March 5.

The event gives a big boost to Charlotte’s economy, tourism and hospitality officials say.

According to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, the tournament resulted in more than $24 million in direct spending and a total economic impact of more than $37 million over the one-week period in 2010.

“Yes, the CIAA has brought us tens of millions of dollars into the area, benefitting our businesses and adding to the bottom line of hospitality and tourism efforts. But we are thankful for the vast opportunities that have come our way to welcome new visitors to our region and to secure long-lasting friendships,” Tim Newman, CEO of the CRVA, said in a news release.

The CIAA is America’s oldest historically black college and university conference and is made up of 13 East Coast colleges and universities.

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