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The good and the flawed restaurant hosts of the 2014 CIAA

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Many of Charlotte’s most sophisticated eateries, from BLT Steak inside the Ritz Carlton Hotel to Bubble, rented their spaces to eager promoters hoping to catch some dollars spent by the average 150,000 tournament attendees. Charlotte Magazine printed list of the “Top 20 Party Picks for CIAA Week 2014” on February 22. Here are some of the results of those picks.

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On Wednesday there were parties scheduled in District 300 that included Cosmos Café, Phoenix, and Republic along the North College Street corridor. The parties were hosted by Charlotte’s own Power 98 FM’s NoLimit Larry (an HBCU alumnus) and were listed as FREE. Although the crowd seemed to move with the host from venue to venue, leaving some black holes on some dance floors, the events were free indeed and very turned up!

Unfortunately the accuracy of the reporting was not so accurate on Thursday. The Jump Off party hosted by Eddietainment Inc., Pearl Vision Group, Eddleton Events, and J&J Entertainment had party seekers register online for FREE tickets while advertising FREE entry before 9 pm. Yet once ticket holders showed up at Vapinaos Restaurant in the last hour for entry, at least a few dozen were turned away. How does a promoter require not only registration for all entry but a time limit to do so, end up with ticket holders on the outside? Most of those rejected remarked how this was the second year that one or all of these hosts had “tricked” registers into showing up to their events with no intention of letting all who had done so inside.

On Friday the benefit held for A Child’s Place was a sellout at the Ritz Carlton’s BLT Steak. Thanks goes to the event’s organizers Rudy and Natalie Brown, Ramona Holloway, Dirty Eight Productions.

Saturday night marked the turn of events that is currently the highlight of the tournament weekend surrounding the P Diddy, Fabolous, and Future Takeover party held at The Sheraton Hotel. Shots were fired inside of the party and at least 2 were shot. It was reported that the incident occurred near the VIP area of the hosts. See guests scramble to escape. http://youtu.be/M5y3izQdPo4

The CIAA is the largest Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in its division where many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) from Pennsylvania to North Carolina compete for the chance to win the NCAA Division II title. For the past nine years Charlotte has been host to the longest running African American Athletic conference in the nation. This year thousands were drawn to the city for a chance to celebrate with alumni as well as to proudly represent their school at as many of the 28 events in and around uptown Charlotte. Despite these and other reported results, the week was relatively safe. And as announced by the tournament’s commission today, the Queen City will remain host of the CIAA for the next six years.

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