Charlotte, NC (December 11, 2018) - The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Board of Directors voted last week to extend its agreement with the City of Salem and Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) as hosts of the CIAA Football Championship through the 2024 season. Salem Football Stadium has served as the site for the event for the past three years.
“The City of Salem and VBR have been great hosts for the CIAA Football Championship and we appreciate their enthusiasm and support,” Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams said. “The Salem team, led by Carey Harveycutter, have proven time and again their expertise in running successful championships and identify key partnerships that support the pillars of the CIAA. The level of hospitality, financial commitment, and operational support we receive from the city has been outstanding.”
The Board reviewed several factors in its decision to remain in Salem, including facility use and staffing, team support, opportunities for community engagement, and involvement of the local business community.
The City of Salem is very excited to be selected by the CIAA to continue hosting their football championship,” said Director of Tourism Carey Harveycutter. “The event is much more than just a football game with the summer events and the pregame tailgate party. We look forward to a mutually successful run.”
Salem has been the site for multiple conference events this year, first hosting the CIAA Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country Championship in October. In November, in addition to football, Salem hosted the CIAA Volleyball Championships, allowing student-athletes and fans access to both events. Salem will be the site for the 2019 Softball Championship which will take place in May.
The CIAA’s partnership with Salem extends beyond just the athletic events and highlights the CIAA's mission including Tradition, Leadership and Community. Since the inception of the partnership, the CIAA has hosted its football media day activities and summer administrative meetings in Salem. The conference has offered a free football clinic to area youth conducted by the CIAA coaches and student-athletes. In 2017, there were 250 youth clinic attendees.
During the 2017 Football Championship, the CIAA also hosted a High School Education Day program, introducing area junior and senior students to the CIAA membership and even offering on-site college admittance. This year, the CIAA teamed up with Salem and the NCAA to sponsor Readers Become Leaders, an initiative focused on reaching elementary students, primarily third graders, on the importance of reading.