SEWARD, Neb. – In a joint decision made by the presidents of the competing institutions, the 2021 Concordia Invitational Tournament (CIT) has been canceled (as announced on Tuesday, Aug. 25). Concordia University, Nebraska was scheduled to host what would have been the 70th annual CIT on Jan. 29-30, 2021. Instead, Walz Arena in Seward will be the site of CIT in 2022.
As one of the nation’s longest running basketball tournaments, CIT was played for the first time in 1951 when it was staged in St. Louis, Mo. The 2020-21 basketball season will be the first one without CIT since 1975-76 when scheduling conflicts forced its cancellation.
Stated Director of Athletics Devin Smith, “This was a difficult decision, but absolutely the right and most responsible path to take during this pandemic. This collective decision by the CIT Athletic Directors and University Presidents demonstrates a collaborative response to do our best for ensuring the health and safety of our student-athletes and shareholders. The decision also allows some flexibility for rescheduling conference mandated athletic contests throughout the second semester, and demonstrates our need to be fiscally responsible in these trying times. I am pleased about the proactive approach which provides our students, staff, alums and community ample time to prepare for future endeavors. CIT 2022 will be the grandest of them all after this hiatus.”
A number of factors resulted in the cancellation of CIT, which features the Concordias of Ann Arbor, Chicago, Nebraska and Wisconsin. As members of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NCAA Division III), Concordia-Chicago and Concordia-Wisconsin were mandated to postpone all fall semester athletic contests and to begin again after Jan. 1, condensing their basketball regular seasons to the spring semester. In addition to scheduling considerations, the decision to cancel CIT was made in order to diminish as much exposure to COVID-19 as possible and ease team travel concerns and protocols. The NAIA and Great Plains Athletic Conference have not made any decisions or announcements about winter sports, as of Aug. 25.
Women’s basketball first became part of CIT in 1973 while enhancing the storied tournament. Cheer and dance competitions were also added to CIT beginning in 2018. In January 2020, the event took place in River Forest, Ill., and saw the Bulldogs win both the men’s and women’s basketball championships. MVP honors went to Grace Barry and Tanner Shuck. CUNE leads the event in all-time titles for both women (30) and men (28).
Dates for the 2022 Concordia Invitational Tournament in Seward are Jan. 28-29. Walz Arena last hosted the event in 2017.