Greensboro, other host sites still waiting for NCAA decision after HB2 repeal

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- North Carolina lawmakers had the votes, but will the law repealing HB2 be enough to convince the NCAA that the state deserves a shot at hosting championships?

"I'm personally just glad that we have a bill that at least they can debate and look at and we'll see what they decide," said NCAA President Mark Emmert Thursday evening.

Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau President Henri Fourrier says the city already lost about $35 million because of HB2.

Fourrier said the problem will not go away overnight, but the repeal should help him and his team out.

"We remain busy trying to solicit groups to come to our town and hopefully things will be a little bit easier now," he said over the phone Thursday evening.

City Council Member Mike Barber agrees.

"That shadow, that cloud has now been lifted," Barber said of the economic toll HB2 took on the city.

Barber said he is happy with the compromise made between Democrats and Republicans in Raleigh, but did express empathy for members of the LGBTQ community who feel slighted by the repeal.

"I think this is a great way for us to reset but we have to remember that all people regardless of lifestyle, they're entitled to happiness, and love and respect and safety," he said.

Protesters showed their distaste for the new law outside Gov. Roy Cooper's mansion Thursday afternoon.

The question for Greensboro, and other sports venues throughout the state, is will the compromise be enough to give them a chance to host.

Greensboro already lost out on hosting swimming and soccer championships and first and second-round games of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Greensboro has already placed bids to host 55 NCAA events.

NCAA President Mark Emmert did not make any promises in a news conference Thursday evening to return Greensboro to "Tournament Town."

"...that will really come down to can they in fact host events there that reflect the values of the association in the venues that will be available for us," Emmert said.

Emmert said the NCAA board will meet and make a decision sometime next week on if North Carolina can be in the running for 2018-2022 championships.