The 65th Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Tournament was recently held in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Automotive Rhythms decided to pay a visit for the first time. This historic event is one of the largest and most financially successful basketball tournaments in the United States.
The seven hour trip from Washington DC was surprisingly smooth and enjoyable thanks to the all-new Kia Soul, which served its purpose in a major way; at the tank! The 500+ mile trip down south on I-95 to I-85 to Route 77 took a mere $30 dollars to top off at a stop in Fredericksburg, and $26 to fill up completely in Greensboro. Heading back north for another 500+ miles, we made one stop in Richmond to fill her back up for only $29. Now after spending $75 in my Grand Jeep Cherokee V8 to go about 300+ miles is normal for me, but to experience a 1000+ mile trip for the same price was amazing!
CIAA weekend saw over 150,000 thousand people celebrating in collegiate fun and fanfare. A majority of those in town for the entertaining weekend either attended one of the many CIAA schools, or simply came to enjoy the party scene during the week-long extravaganza, with the “day” party” being the most effective. This is a tradition for the tourney weekend with over 40 day parties occurring anywhere from 11am to 9 pm. Jay-Z protégé J. Cole stopped by to kick it with Automotive Rhythms at Founders Hall. In addition, entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs hosted a CIAA championship party which attracted a sell-out audience!
The Soul brought some energy to the streets, especially when compared to Scion, a brand more were familiar with. We did draw heavy comparisons between the two, but after experiencing the Kia Soul it will be extremely tough to give props to a brand that hasn’t released a new model in several years. The interior of the Soul was interestingly unique, from the iPod connectivity to the SIRIUS, Bluetooth, MP3 and Compact Disc entertainment system, to the dual cup holders in the middle along with each individual cup holder in each door panel. And the speaker panels on the front door feature lights that pulsate to the music (if selected). The trunk space was minimal, but this allowed for your guests to have a comfortable ride in the back seat area.
If you’ve never been to the CIAA Tournament, you may want to rethink that next year. Our rooms are already booked!