CIAA commissioner on why Baltimore's bid for tournament beat Charlotte's

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jacqie McWilliams became the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s first female commissioner when she was hired in 2012. She came to the job well-versed in running major college basketball events, having spent nine years at the NCAA, where she played pivotal roles staging the men’s and women’s national tournaments.

As head of the CIAA, McWilliams has brought much of her experience to the conference’s signature event: the annual, week-long, combined men’s and women’s tournament. This week, the 12-member conference board — working from a months-long bid process run by McWilliams and her staff — selected Baltimore over Charlotte and Norfolk, Virginia, to host the tournament for three years beginning in 2021.

That decision means Charlotte will end its run as CIAA host city after 15 years in 2020, taking with it an event estimated to add as much as $50 million to the local economy. In 2015, the conference moved its headquarters here as part of an agreement that, to date, includes $171,000 worth of subsidies through reduced rent and moving expenses. McWilliams spoke to the Charlotte Business Journal about the league’s future here (they’re staying) and what led to the tournament’s upcoming move to Baltimore.

Read the full interview here.

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