The 2015 Tournament Weekend Survival Guide is brought to you by “The Yard At Sports One“, going down Saturday, February 28th at Sports One Bar & Lounge (521 N. College St). Some of the biggest promoters in the east coast have come together to offer a new day party tradition…you DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS!
The Yard at Sports One

2015 Tournament Week Survival Guide

The biggest party week of the year is now less than a month away, and if this is your first time visiting Charlotte during CIAA weekend, you chose the right year. You will be joined by nearly 200,000 of your closest friends will invade the queen city for five days of long nights and early mornings. For our 2015 survival guide, we compiled our annual top 10 tips to help navigate your way through the city, and make it home without going broke, ending up in jail, or in divorce court.

Tip 10: Plan for 2016 now.

I know you are probably wondering why are we starting this list off with next year, but there’s a method to the madness. The CIAA Tournament will be in Charlotte for the foreseeable future, which means the last weekend in February or first weekend in March will always be the times to plan around making the trip. While most hotels won’t let you book hotel rooms years in advance, you may be able to secure your room at the hotel you stay in this year if you speak with the front desk before you check out.

Tip 9: Don’t stay too far away from the action.

If you are late booking your hotel room, or are just cheap, you may not be staying near Uptown or the surrounding areas in 2015. Staying out near Concord Mall or in Ballantyne is a traffic nightmare if you are going to be partying at or near the Epicentre that weekend. Roads are blocked off, parking prices go through the roof, and by the time you leave the day party(6-7pm), sit in traffic (60 min-90 min) to head back to your hotel to change and get ready for the night event, and then drive back to the Epicentre (sit in another 60 min of traffic),your night will be halfway over. If you are staying away from the action, plan one night to party in the Epicentre, and check out some of the great events going on throughout the city the other nights.

Check This Year’s Party List on

Tip 8: Buy passes as soon as they go on sale.

This is saying you miss out on some of our contests and giveaways during #TheSZN, but if a dayparty catches your eye during the weekend, don’t wait until mid February, thinking you will decide after all the parties are announced. Parties are usually still being released up until the final few days, and by that time, you will pay double or triple to get in that day party in the Epicentre.

Tournament Weekend Survival Guide

You never know who you will see in The Epicentre

Tip 7: Party at least one day and night away from the Epicentre.

A rookie mistake most people make is not venturing away from the events going down in the Epicentre all week. It’s cool if you are staying in an uptown hotel to take in most of the events going down at 210 E. Trade Street, but you won’t truly experience all that the week has to offer in one location. The hottest nightclub in the city, Label (900 NC Music Factory Blvd) is 2 miles away, while CAMEO (3049 Scott Futrell), home to some of the biggest celebrity night events, and one of the livest strip clubs on the east coast, is 15 minutes away.

Tip 6: Make sure someone in your crew has a charged cell phone at all times.

At some point during your drunken day party situation, your cell phone battery will die. If all of your friends have dead cell phones, then Tip 5 will not be possible for you.

Tip 5: Skip the rental car and use Uber.

Traffic can be a nightmare during tournament weekend, and parking garages and lot prices eat into your drink money. Don’t worry about a rental, just download the Uber App for your smartphone, head to, and grab the promo code to get a free ride (up to $20 value) during tournament weekend. You might need that to get to the hotel from the club on a late night, or to and from the mall after a dayparty.

Tip 4:Check the weather before you leave.

If you are traveling from out of town, check the weather often leading up to tournament weekend. Charlotte’s weather patterns are funny, and in the four days you are in town you could need a winter coat and a t-shirt within 24 hours. Temps during the last week of February normally are in the low to mid 50’s in the day, with them dropping to near the freezing mark at night. Let’s just pray there is no snow/ice.

Tip 3: Bring your credit card just in case.

Have a great time during tournament weekend, but don’t blow your budget, and definitely bring some emergency funds/credit card just in case you have to fly home early or bail a friend out of jail.


Tip 2: Don’t lose your day job.

This is a great week where you can catch up with old friends, make some new ones, and create memories to last you a year. Make sure none of those memories include doing something stupid. A DUI is hard to explain to your manager.

Tip 1: Don’t over plan.

You waited for this week, why plan your every waking move? Enjoy times with your friends and for at least one day (maybe two), go with the flow and don’t buy tickets to any event. You probably won’t make it through the day and night parties if you don’t pace yourself, and one night you might want to grab a nice dinner with your friends.


2014 – 10 Things NOT to do during tournament weekend