The buzz is in the air. The United States Olympic Committee asked Charlotte to consider hosting the 2024 Olympics, the Bobcats are considering hosting an NBA All-Star game and we’re in the running to host ESPN’s summer X Games.
All of this buzz comes less than a year after the city hosted the Democratic National Convention. Successfully hosting the DNC – with the exception of the unpaid $8 million bill – has Charlotte pounding its chest. However, it was the success of the Omega conclave in 2002 that helped us land the DNC.
Stay with me.
The Omega Conclave drew hundreds of rowdy black men partying in hotels and clubs in uptown Charlotte. The Omega conclave would test the a burgeoning uptown entertainment district that hadn’t fully accepted scores of young black partiers. The conclave went well and the city went on to host the CIAA in 2006.
When Charlotte landed the CIAA, I was nervous and excited. The conclave was a small test compared to the crowds that followed the CIAA. I didn’t know how the city, police, restaurants, bar owner and others would handle so many black people especially the young partiers. The city surprised me. There were no significant incidents, the police were courteous and uptown establishments welcome the tournament-goers. The CIAA drew nearly 125,000 (black) people to Charlotte in its first year. The tournament has been drawing record CIAA crowds ever since it moved here. This week the city hosts its seventh CIAA tournament. Charlotte and the tournament has prospered since the CIAA made Charlotte its home.
The CIAA’s success gave the city the proof to support its can-do spirit.
Even Mayor Anthony Foxx cited CIAA success as a contributing factor to landing the DNC.
“Well you know, there’s a saying ‘nothing succeeds like success,’ and when you’ve had a great success like Charlotte has had with the CIAA, over the last several years, it speaks volumes to our ability to do other events and I’m sure that that had an impact on the decision makers at the DNC,” said Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx in an interview with the Griot.
Before the CIAA, I never would’ve thought the city could pull off the DNC. Before successfully hosting the DNC, I never would’ve thought the city could host an Olympics. We hosted the NBA All-Star game in 1991 before we even had a downtown. Landing another one shouldn’t be an issue. The X-Games shouldn’t be a biggie either.
As I embark on a week of covering nearly 100 celebrities at dozens of parties throughout the city for the CIAA tournament, I can’t think of anything this city can’t handle.
Olympics, NBA All-Star, X-Games – Bring It!!!!!
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