The ACC announced in a statement on Wednesday that it will relocate all neutral site championship games out of North Carolina for the 2016-2017 academic year in response to HB2.
“The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "Today’s decision is one of principle, and while this decision is the right one, we recognize there will be individuals and communities that are supportive of our values as well as our championship sites that will be negatively affected. Hopefully, there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.”
The conference says it will release all championship locations in the future.
Neutral site championships:
- Women’s Soccer
- Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving
- Women’s Basketball
- Men’s and Women’s Tennis
- Women’s Golf
- Men’s Golf
The NCAA already announced on Monday that it was going to pull seven championships from North Carolina because of the state's stance on LGBT rights.
The list of championships, which span several sports, include the first and second rounds of the 2017 Men's Basketball Championship scheduled for Greensboro.
With the ACC leaving it’s expected to cost the City of Greensboro millions of dollars. The total breakdown looks like this: the women's basketball tournament would've had a $4.6 million impact, while the men and women’s swimming would’ve brought in $1 million. Women’s golf was expected to bring in $36,000.
“Certainly when you look at hotels and the staff that are there. It's sad that those are the people that are being directly affected. It is not the legislators. You know the city, we are going to have to balance our budget in a very different way, which means we are probably going to have to cut services,” Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn said.
“So all we hope is that some people come to their senses, this law can be reversed and that rest of the country can start to see us in a more favorable light. And we can start bringing those events back,” said Ted Oliver, chairman of the War Memorial Commission.
The affected championships are:
• 2016 Division I Women's Soccer Championship, College Cup (Cary), December 2 and 4.
• 2016 Division III Men's and Women's Soccer Championships (Greensboro), December 2 and 3.
• 2017 Division I Men's Basketball Championship, first/second rounds (Greensboro), March 17 and 19.
• 2017 Division I Women's Golf Championships, regional (Greenville), May 8-10.
• 2017 Division III Men's and Women's Tennis Championships (Cary), May 22-27.
• 2017 Division I Women's Lacrosse Championship (Cary), May 26 and 28.
• 2017 Division II Baseball Championship (Cary), May 27-June 3.
"Yesterday it was the NCAA. Last month it was the NBA. Today, the ACC -- home conference to many of our beloved teams -- will take their marquis events out of North Carolina,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “It has never been more clear than it is right now - HB2 is hurting our state every minute that it remains law. It's hurting our people, our reputation, and our economy. I'm calling on Pat McCrory today - accept responsibility for the legislation you signed. It's crystal clear that HB2 is bad for us. Stop playing the blame game and clean up this mess you've made of our state, because we cannot afford to wait any longer."
Wake Forest Athletic Director Ron Wellman:
"Wake Forest remains committed to competing in an environment of diversity and inclusion. Our University motto of Pro Humanitate remains resolute. We continue to hope for a resolution to this matter in the near future. We hope that the communities within North Carolina will again have the opportunity to host future neutral site ACC Championship events."
Gov. Pat McCrory released the following statement Wednesday evening:
"The issue of redefining gender and basic norms of privacy will be resolved in the near future in the United States court system for not only North Carolina, but the entire nation. I strongly encourage all public and private institutions to both respect and allow our nation’s judicial system to proceed without economic threats or political retaliation toward the 22 states that are currently challenging government overreach."