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CIAA Championship: Shaw vs. Virginia Union

Source: Charlotte Observer / Getty

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Students, alumni, and friends of Virginia State and Virginia Union will descend upon Charlotte, NC this week for the CIAA Tournament.

The “Queen City” plays host for the eleventh year, after the tournament moved from Raleigh, NC.

Touted as one of the nation’s premier sporting events, fans enjoy not just the game, but an onslaught of family entertainment, step shows, concerts, parties, and more!

So, if you’re heading to the Carolinas and you’re not familiar with Charlotte during the CIAA, here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your big tournament week!

The Games

Many people come for the parties, but let’s not forget the real reason for the tournament, the games! Games for both the women and men’s teams begin Tuesday, February 21 and run until Super Saturday night, February 25, when the winners are announced. For the full game schedule and/or to get tickets CLICK HERE.


All of the major events are held “uptown.” So, if you are not staying in that area you will want to catch the “Light Rail” to avoid bumper-to-bumper traffic, limited parking, and a ridiculous amount of one-way streets. Charlotte’s LYNX Blue Line aka the “Light Rail” will easily take you to the heart of uptown and back. Patrons are allowed to park for free a one-way ticket is $2.20. For more information on the LYNX Blue Line CLICK HERE.

Transportation - City Metro Train. Full Frame.

Source: SteveCash / Getty

The Parties

Whether you’re looking for a day soiree or if you prefer the nightlife, the parties don’t stop CIAA week. The key is to plan ahead. Many promoters offer early bird discounts. Purchase your tickets in advance to avoid a price hike at the door, or the event being “sold out” altogether. Don’t forget to do your research. Everyone turns into a promoter for CIAA week. When you get a flier check out the party’s social media pages – do they seem legit? Remember no pictures, no website, no go!

Places to Eat

Thrilling games, hot parties… and did I mention that the food is pretty awesome, too! While hanging in the QC make it a point to try some of the local cuisines. Charlotte is a foodie’s paradise, and with so many great restaurants to choose from it’s hard to single out the best of the best. According to cltyumsters you can’t go wrong with the RedEye Diner in the EpiCenter. Try anything with grits….the grits are awesome.

For more information on where to eat in and around Charlotte check out cltyumsters.

CIAA Fan Fest

So you’ve got the kids in tow, you’re not a party person, and you want to take a break from the games? Head on over to the CIAA Fan Experience! Don’t miss your opportunity to meet special guests, see great performances, and more! All events are free and open to the public! For more information on CIAA Fan Fest CLICK HERE!

CIAA 2016 Fan Fest

Source: CIAA Fan Fest/ Photo by Prince Williams / Getty

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Big Tournament Survival Guide!  was originally published on