As we have famously dubbed it, Tournament Weekend, held annually towards the end of February/early March, in Charlotte NC, is “The biggest party weekend of the year”. From the first time I went to tournament weekend back in 2008, I knew it would be big, but had no clue it would grow to the heights it has over the past 2 years. What used to be simply a regional affair where alumni of schools who played in the CIAA basketball conference all got together in Charlotte to catch up has turned into something bigger, much bigger.
National promoters, industry leading companies, artists, and celebrities all have taken notice to Charlotte, as tournament weekend literally takes over uptown for four days. If you have ever been to Charlotte on a weekend that isn’t tournament weekend, you will see a completely different town. If you have never been to tournament Weekend, or Charlotte as a whole, then this FAQ page is for you.
Updated: January 27th, 2013
1. Why are hotels sold out/overpriced already?
Many vets to the biggest party weekend of the year book their hotel for the following year before they check out of the current year. Hotels have smartened up as the event has grown, and most(if not all) increase their rates 200 percent over the standard non-event weekend rates. Wanna stay at the Hilton Center City this weekend? You can probably land a room for 125-150.00. CIAA Weekend, you are looking at $500.00.
The good news is their is still time to book your room, even 8 weeks out. We will constantly update our Hotel Listings
throughout the next few weeks. We also will send out updates on our mailing list.
2. Will Hotels release rooms as the weekend gets closer?
As the party weekend gets closer, some hotels do release rooms closer, but you are taking a chance you will end up staying out in Rock Hill, SC if you wait a week out.
3. My crew and I are only coming down Friday and Saturday(2 nights), why can’t I book for 2 nights?
Most of the hotels in Uptown(or for out of towners the area you probably wanna be in, near all the action), will require a 3 night minimum if you are booking this late. If you are taking off work, you may wanna put in for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
4. Are there any wack parties during the weekend?
With over 150 events that went down during 2012 CIAA Weekend, there may have been a few duds. For the most part, though, you will be ok. Some events by the most prominent trusted promoters have followings that bring out thousands to their events every year.
5. What’s A Day Party?
This weekend is perhaps most known for the day parties, and many of our followers believe those events are more fun than the night events. If you have never been to a day party, then you will be in for a treat this year. Imagine a few hundred of your newest friends all going in having a ball getting buzzed as early as 12:30pm, and partying all day, literally.
6. Where are some places to stay in Charlotte away from Uptown?
If you are looking to come into town for the festivities, but don’t want to be in the madness that is Uptown during that week, there are other options available for you. Many like staying near the Airport, South Park Mall, Executive Park area, or even Ballantyne area. With less than a month to go until the events, you might be limited to what hotels have to offer at the prices they are charging now.
7. Where are the best strip clubs to go too?
I think we get this question every year. Club Nikkis (3001 Little Rock), Club Onyx (5300 Old Pineville) and CAMEO (3049 Scott Futrell) are all good options to get it poppin this year.
8. What’s a good soul food spot in Charlotte?
If you are looking to get some good cooking while in town, La’Wans Soul Food (7520 S Tryon) is our personal favorite spot to go to after a day party and before the night events go down.
9. Do the celebrities on the flyers for these parties always show up?
This question gets asked a lot too. For the most part, they do show up, however you have to make sure you see if they are only appearing or “performing”. Many artists get paid a fee to appear, and while they may live it up in the VIP while they are there, it’s not the same as if they are supposed to host or actually perform.
10. Will the CIAA Tournament weekend always be in Charlotte?
As it stands now, the tournament will be in Charlotte at least one more year. Hopefully by this time next year, we will know where the 2015 and beyond events will be at. Rumored locations should the tournament move have been anywhere from back to Raleigh NC to Washington DC.
Check out our Party Weekend survival guide from last year!