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CIAA scholarship money to increase

The Charlotte Regional Visitor Authority’s contract to keep the CIAA basketball tournament for six more years calls for small annual increases in the scholarship payments to the group of historically black colleges and universities.

The taxpayer-funded CRVA will pay the CIAA $1.41 million for scholarships next year, up from $1 million this year and in previous years.

That will increase by 2.5 percent each year, reaching $1.595 million in 2020, the last year the men’s and women’s tournament is obligated to be played in Charlotte, according to a recently signed contract released this week.

The CIAA recently finished its ninth year in Charlotte. In previous years, there was no annual escalation fee with the CRVA’s scholarship agreement to the association.

The CIAA and the CRVA announced last week that the early round games of the tournament would move to Bojangles’ Coliseum, starting in 2017. Late-round games will remain at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The CIAA, which has had an operating deficit in recent years, said the move was made in part to save money.

In addition to the increases in scholarship money, the contract gives more detail on how much the CRVA will pay to cover the costs of using Bojangles’ Coliseum and Time Warner Cable Arena.

Unlike in past years, the CIAA is not responsible for any fees associated with using the arena.

The contract states that the CRVA will pay for arena-related expenses up to $318,330 in 2015. That amount will grow slightly each year, to $360,161 in 2020.

In addition, the CRVA will pay the Charlotte Hornets a “dedicated fee” for using Time Warner Cable Arena of $63,000 in 2015. That will grow to $80,406 in 2020.

When the games are played at Bojangles’, the CRVA will keep all revenue from concessions and parking. The Charlotte Hornets will keep all concessions revenue at the arena.

As previously reported, the CIAA will also get $100,000 from the CRVA to move its offices from Hampton, Va., to Charlotte, most likely in the summer of 2015.

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