RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina could lose millions of dollars and six years of NCAA championship events due to House Bill 2, according to a member of the North Carolina Sports Association.
Scott Dupree, the executive director of Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, sent out a letter to lawmakers Monday warning that, per his conversations with the NCAA, “all North Carolina bids will be pulled from the review process and removed from consideration,” because of the NCAA’s stance of HB2.
The letter says North Carolina cities, towns and universities have submitted 133 bids for a wide range of sports that are set up for the academic year 2018-19 through the academic year 2021-22. Dupree says those bids represent more than $250 million in economic impact.
The Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau says the city has 55 bids to host NCAA championship events for the 2019-2022 cycle. The bureau estimates the potential revenue from those events could bring in nearly $120 million.
Dupree says in the letter, the NCAA’s bid review and evaluation process began in January, and the NCAA will begin the process of pulling North Carolina bids in sports committees starting in 7-10 days and continuing through the month of February.
He goes on to say, “In a matter of days, our state’s sports tourism industry will suffer crushing, long-term losses and will essentially close its doors to NCAA business. Our window to act is rapidly closing.”
There is currently a repeal bill that was filed in the Senate and sent to the Senate rules committee. Last week, Representative Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) said lawmakers may work to reach a compromise in the coming weeks, but doesn’t think it will be a clean repeal.
“The NCAA news means there is no time to waste in repealing House Bill 2. The bipartisan votes of both Democrats and Republicans are there for repeal if the Republican legislative leadership will just put it to a vote,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement Monday afternoon.
“HB2 would have been long gone if Gov. Cooper had not directed all Senate Democrats to block its repeal, and he is going to have to work toward a compromise that keeps women from being forced to share bathrooms and shower facilities with men to move past this distraction," Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said.
“There is a bipartisan majority in the General Assembly ready to cleanly repeal HB2 if President Pro Tem Berger and Speaker Moore let a vote come to the floor," said North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds.
FOX8 has reached out to House Speaker Tim Moore for comment but have not heard back.