GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — In a full-court press as the clock nears 00:00, the city of Greensboro has placed another chip on the negotiating table with the Atlantic Coast Conference: the naming of the Greensboro Coliseum. 

Last year, the ACC, which was created in Greensboro in 1953, announced it was exploring options for its headquarters. Six years after the conference’s inception, in 1959, the coliseum was established.  

Thursday, city leaders announced they are willing to change the name of the coliseum to the ACC Coliseum. However, Richard Beard, president of the Greensboro Sports Foundation, said that offer was in talks well before Greensboro, Charlotte, and Orlando, Florida, were announced as finalists for the conference headquarters. 

“That came out of the gate early on. It just shows our commitment to the ACC in this community. That’s a very valuable asset for the ACC to name our coliseum the ACC Coliseum,” Beard said. “It brings a lot of attention to the ACC, and it was a very generous thing for Greensboro to offer, and we did that right out of the gate.” 

Beard added he’s not aware of the packages offered by competing cities but said he’s heard Orlando’s was very competitive and expects nothing less from Charlotte. 

“We’ve put together a competitive package to compete for this project. We’re not going to get into the details of the financial part of it, but it’s very competitive, and we’re very confident in what we’ve presented to the ACC,” he added 

Beard said the committee committed to retaining the ACC in Greensboro consists of 12-plus community leaders of different levels and organizations. 

“It’s certainly high-level conversations, and it’s tough for Greensboro because we have so much pride and we’ve had it for so long,” he detailed. “But we stay the course. We stay strong. And we’re very encouraged that we’ve gotten to this point, and we’ll continue fighting.” 

Beard said the city continues to have a strong partnership with the ACC, making it easy for the conference to host championships. He also pointed to the community members who offer their services to the tournaments. 

“We also have over 800 volunteers that commit time to make these events so successful, and it’s a community effort, which you just don’t see in other cities,” Beard said. “The ACC has recognized that over the years, and we take pride in being tournament town and what we offer. Not only the ACC but other events we bring to the community.” 

It’s the city’s willingness to work with the ACC, paired with its history, which are two of the more public selling points the committee is making to keep the conference headquartered in its birthplace. 

“I think that how we’ve presented Greensboro through this process has opened eyes within the ACC, and that’s made the decision very difficult for them,” Beard detailed. “Had we not gone through this effort and been as aggressive as we have, the decision may have already been made.” 

Beard added the committee was aware of the $15 million included in a newly-agreed upon proposed North Carolina budget, which would be used to keep the ACC in the state for at least 15 more years. The budget did not specify where the conference would have to be headquartered within the state.  

Beard went on to say the ACC would always be a “big fish” in the city of Greensboro. 

“It’s our DNA. It’s our culture, and growing up in Greensboro, ACC basketball was a day off of school. We all watched ACC basketball. You don’t find that history in these other communities…personally, I feel like they will get lost a little bit. But we’re going to continue hosting championships that the ACC produces,” he said. “If they choose to move out of Greensboro, we’re still going to be a host of ACC championships, and that’s very important to us.”