The ACC sent out a release late Friday afternoon stating:
“The ACC Council of Presidents has voted that North Carolina will again be considered for hosting future ACC Championships.”
As a refresher, the ACC, following the NCAA’s lead, pulled their championships for the 2016-2017 season out of the state in response to the state’s HB2 Bill (also known as the “Bathroom Law”), leading to he conference pulling 10 championship events from North Carolina last September, including the ACC championship game and the ACC baseball tournament.
The football championship was moved from Charlotte to Orlando.
The financial impact on the state was estimated at $3.7 billion dollars, over a twelve year period, had the bill not been overturned and the ACC returning to their home state.
However, it appears that the ACC, acting first this time, in response to the “immediate” removal of the “bathroom restriction” of the law, is poised to make a return to North Carolina with both the 2017 ACC Football Championship (Charlotte) and the 2017 Women’s Basketball Tournament (Greensboro) still scheduled to take place in the state.
However, it remains unclear whether or not the removal of the bathroom portion of the law will be enough to entice the NCAA to return to the state, as HB2 had restricted local governments’ ability to enact nondiscrimination ordinances on behalf of gay or transgender people.
Under the new measure, local governments can’t pass any new protections for workplaces, hotels and restaurants until December 2020.
At the NCAA Men’s Final Four press conferences held Thursday in Phoenix, NCAA president Mark Emmert told reporters that the while the Board of Directors would discuss the move by the state, apparently, he views the actions of the state as favorable to the NCAA returning.
“They repealed a bill. HB2 is gone and no longer the law of the land. We made clear that absent any change in the law we weren’t going back to North Carolina. They’ve changed the law,” Emmert said. “Now the question is: Whether or not this new bill has changed the landscape sufficiently that the board’s comfortable in returning to North Carolina. Again, a place everybody likes to go.
“This isn’t about North Carolina not being a hospitable place for events. It is. But can we conduct them in a way that’s consistent with our values?”