Norfolk MEAC Tournament

Norfolk MEAC Tournament in Norfolk

Balling at the MEAC Tournament in Norfolk

Norfolk MEAC Tournament

For basketball lovers, Norfolk MEAC Tournament adds Soul to March Madness. Alumni and fans of historically black colleges & universities sojourn to Norfolk with eyes on the prize — the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Basketball Tournament Championship stewarded by Commissioner Thomas.

This 4-decades old black college tradition invites men and women basketball teams from the Atlantic Coast to make their mark in the Soulful March Madness. Cheer for your team and a great time in a great city watching some of the best college basketball action anywhere.

Fans love the MEAC Tournament played at the Norfolk Scope because the arena is large enough to hold crowds, but small enough to have great sight lines from every seat and fewer parking hassles. The Scope is within blocks of Granby Avenue, the heart of downtown restaurants, cafes, coffeehouses, bars and MacArthur Center Mall. The magnificent Norfolk Waterside is only 8 blocks from the Scope, so many visitors meander down Granby Avenue or Monticello Avenue taking in sights along the way. Check out 456 Fish, Byrd & Baldwin Steakhouse, Shula’s Steakhouse (inside the Marriott), Baxter’s, AJ Gator’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Scotty Quixx during your walk.

Monticello Avenue in downtown Norfolk

Monticello Avenue in downtown Norfolk

MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas

MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas

To summarize the highlights, MEAC Commissioner Thomas says, “Fan engagement, branding, marketing the tournament, and in-arena-experience, nearby merchants and restaurants have grown 70% under his tenure since 2002.” The commissioner adds, “Norfolk is a destination city with a renovated waterside, new convention center, a new large hotel, a new high end mall and the largest naval base in the world. People are pleasantly surprised by all the shopping amenities, restaurants, and cultural events. It is also anchored by Norfolk State University and nearby Hampton University, who compliment MEAC activities.” His comments are supported by facts in this pedestrian-friendly downtown. There are many hotel options within walking distance of the arena, or a short drive. If Mom doesn’t want to watch early games, she can shop at MacArthur Center or catch The Tide light rail to an event at Norfolk State University.

With a week of games, music, parties, youth clinics and celebrity events, MEAC week is a big celebration of everything great about Historically Black College and University tradition while demonstrating an inclusive vision for the future. MEAC Commissioner Thomas also notes, “Among tournament festivities, you’ll find the MEAC Hall of Fame ceremonies and the must-see Cheerleading Championships. In-arena interaction with fans, coordination with merchants, restaurants, shops and hotels has been a phenomenal team effort by the MEAC, Norfolk mayors, city managers and convention & visitors bureau leadership hosting this event 5 straight years!

Visitors arriving to town early can catch the pre-tournament concert at Chrysler Hall or Norfolk Opera House. Fans can also catch a show at the Crispus Attucks Theatre. Once known as “The Apollo of the South,” the Attucks Theatre is a National Historic Landmark as well as a year-round venue featuring many genres of music.

Looking for something special to quench a thirst? Why not sample wines at the Mermaid Winery, Virginia’s first urban winery or head over to one of Norfolk’s local breweries, O’Connor Brewing Company or Smartmouth Brewing Company.

Norfolk Transportation

Transportation to and in the region includes Norfolk International Airport, located only six miles northeast of Downtown. It offers hundreds of daily flights by a dozen major and regional carriers. Amtrak offers direct service to Norfolk with round-trip, same-seat services available from major east coast cities.

Nine MEAC colleges are within a 5-hour drive of Norfolk. To avoid traffic jams on I-64 Freeway the day of events, arrive at least one day early. The Tide light rail travels between several Downtown station, Norfolk State University and Newtown Road Station on the outskirts of Virginia Beach.

MEAC Tide light rail train in Norfolk

MEAC Tide light rail train in Norfolk

The MEAC consists of 13 Division I HBCU institutions:

• Delaware State University
• Coppin State University
• Morgan State University
• Howard University
• University of Maryland Eastern Shore
• Hampton University
• Norfolk State University
• North Carolina A&T University
• North Carolina Central University
• South Carolina State University
• Savannah State University
• Bethune-Cookman University
• Florida A&M University

MEAC Welcome flags at the Scope

Norfolk MEAC Tournament Welcome flags at the Scope

The metro area features two MEAC teams, Norfolk State and Hampton, which means lots of alumni hospitality for visitors. Guests can also visit these cultural sites and family attractions. A final word for the ex-ballers. For six days at the Norfolk MEAC Tournament, you’ll re-imagine where a nice chunk of your youth was spent – above the rim, below it or just having a blast!

Pre and Post-Tournament Events

4 March 2017
Tip-off Saturday

MEAC Youth Clinic (Invitation Only)
Featuring MEAC Men’s and Women’s Head Basketball Coaches
1pm-3pm at Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center – Norfolk, VA

Official Tip-Off Concert 8pm
Legends of Soul: Past concerts have featured Chante Moore, Howard Hewitt and Freddie Jacksonat Harrison Opera House in Norfolk.

6 March 2017
Family Night 5:30pm-8pm
$10.50 ticket for families of 4 or more

7 March 2017
Public Service Night 5:30pm-8pm
$10.50 ticket for City of Norfolk Employees, Police, Fire, Port Authority, Shipyard Employees, and Hotel Employees with valid ID

8 March 2017
Education Night 5:30pm-8pm
$18.50 ticket for Norfolk Public School Employees & students with valid ID

College Fair (Invitation Only)
Exhibition Hall, Norfolk Scope – Norfolk, Virginia

9 March 2017
Hoops For Troops Night
$18.50 ticket for active & non-active military, including ROTC, with valid ID

Hall of Fame Brunch
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Sheraton Waterside Hotel – Norfolk, Virginia

Official MEAC Meet & Greet Mixer
Marriott Waterside Hotel – Norfolk, Virginia

10 March 2017
MEAC Homecoming Night
$20.25 ticket during evening session for wearing Greek or MEAC Institutional Apparel

The Official MEAC Friday Night Celebrity After Party
Marriott Waterside Hotel – Norfolk, Virginia

11 March 2017
Official MEAC Championship After Party
Marriott Waterside Hotel – Norfolk, Virginia

MEAC Tournament Schedule

MEAC Fans in Norfolk

Ecstatic Norfolk State University fans at the MEAC Tournament

Learn about special MEAC guest packages and more local information at Visit Norfolk.

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