The CIAA tournament sought to distance itself Sunday from a series of violent incidents at venues that catered to tournament-goers – the second time the tournament has been marred by violence in as many years.
Two people were shot at Label nightclub in the NC Music Factory complex about 7 p.m. on Saturday. Six hours later, two people were stabbed at the Oasis Tent on College Street near uptown. Police have not released victims’ names or said anything about suspects.
Derek Ross, a spokesman for the CIAA tournament, said the events where the violence occurred were “unaffiliated with the CIAA. It’s unfortunate, but it’s not a thing we have control over.”
He said tournament leaders try to encourage attendees to go to events sanctioned by the CIAA and have tried to dissuade promoters – sometimes with letters from attorneys – from using the CIAA name on advertisements.
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“All of our events – and we tried to communicate with our friends through email blasts and social media – are either positioned at the convention center or other official city locations,” Ross said.
Charlotte City Council member Al Austin, who works for Johnson C. Smith, which is a CIAA school, said the problems continue to happen at events not organized by the tournament.
“The people coming for the tournament, for the fellowship, for old friends from school, those things that are going on at Time Warner Arena were fine,” he said. “There are other entities outside of the CIAA itself that host parties. Those entities, they need to step up their security mechanism for security.”
Charlotte City Council member Patsy Kinsey, who represents a district that includes uptown, said she and other council members are seeking more information about what happened this weekend and what can be done to prevent violence in the future.
Still, she said, the CIAA tournament has had little violence in the nine years it’s been in Charlotte.
“I don’t want to judge just based on the last two years,” Kinsey said. “I personally love the CIAA here. I think it’s good for Charlotte. ... I want to know if these people involved, maybe they just came to town to party, and if that’s the case, it shouldn’t reflect poorly on the CIAA.”
The more than 100,000 CIAA attendees were expected to spend $30 million at local businesses this year. Last March, the city and the CIAA reached an agreement to keep the CIAA in Charlotte through 2020.
The first violent incident of the weekend happened on Saturday about 7 p.m. A woman and another person were shot at the Label nightclub in the NC Music Factory complex, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.
When police arrived, they found a woman with a gunshot wound; she was taken to Carolinas Medical Center, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Spokesman Rob Tufano. Soon after, another person also went to CMC with a gunshot wound.
Label hosted another event Sunday night, and in a statement from its attorney said, “There will continue to be very substantial security for all Label events during tournament weekend.”
On Sunday about 1:30 a.m., two people were stabbed at the Oasis Tent, a luxury lounge beneath a white tent in a parking lot on North College Street.
A year ago, two men were shot in the leg during a party at the Sheraton Hotel that featured music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. The party took place after the CIAA tournament. It was not a CIAA-sanctioned event but was one of many party venues around the city.
CMPD Capt. Mike Campagna said the department hasn’t analyzed what the violence means for coverage of future CIAA events. “We haven’t gotten that far with a situation debrief.”
He directed additional questions to Tufano, the CMPD spokesman, who did not respond to calls or emails seeking comment.