The NCAA began evaluating cities for championship games in January and is said to have pulled all North Carolina cities from consideration because of HB2. This could mean 6 years without NCAA tournaments because the General Assembly continues to refuse to repeal HB2. And if the NCAA pulls out, the ACC and other leagues are likely to follow. In light of this news, Gov. Cooper said it’s once again time to fully repeal HB2, no strings or moratoriums attached.
Scott Dupree, executive director of the Raleigh Sports Alliance, sent a letter to all 170 members of the General Assembly on Monday on behalf of the North Carolina Sports Association, stating that cities, colleges and universities have submitted 133 bids to host NCAA events through 2022. He said that represents more than $250 million in economic impact.
“The NCAA’s bid review and evaluation process began in January. Our contacts at the NCAA tell us that, due to their stance on HB2, all North Carolina bids will be pulled from the review process and removed from consideration,” Dupree wrote in the letter, obtained by WRAL News. “At that point, we will be faced with a six-year drought of NCAA championships in North Carolina.”
House Bill 2, which state lawmakers passed in a one-day emergency session last March, excludes gay and transgender people from nondiscrimination protections and required that transgender individuals use bathrooms in schools and other government buildings that correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificates.
The law has brought national scorn on North Carolina, with businesses scrapping planned expansions, entertainers canceling concerts and organizations moving their conventions elsewhere. The NCAA has already pulled several championship events from the state, and the NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte.
“What’s more, in terms of youth and amateur sports in the United States, the NCAA exerts tremendous influence,” Dupree wrote. “When the NCAA decides it will no longer conduct events in North Carolina, the Atlantic Coast Conference and many other sports organizations will surely follow.”