The biggest national sports news of Wednesday: The ACC’s decision to remove all conference championships events outside the state of North Carolina for the 2016-17 season.
It’s a huge decision that will take more than $30 million — at least — out of revenue for the state, according to estimates. College football not having the ACC conference championship game in Charlotte is the biggest, but the one sport absent from Wednesday’s decision: college hoops.
Well, here’s the basics of it. The ACC already, long ago, opted to put its league tournament in Brooklyn for 2017 and 2018. Commissioner John Swofford and conference powers-that-be, with intentions of expanding the league’s exposure and footprint to the most populous region in the country, wanted the league tournament held in New York City. So Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will be where Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Syracuse, Louisville, etc. all battle it out over the next two seasons. The ACC’s decision on Wednesday has no immediate impact on men’s basketball.
Women’s ACC basketball, however, will be affected. The conference was scheduled to host its women’s ACC bracket in Greensboro in 2017. It will now be moved outside state borders.
For men’s ACC hoops, the next time the league tournament is scheduled to return to North Carolina: 2019. That’s when Charlotte is up. In 2020, Greensboro is booked, for now, to host. So will that change? Don’t necessarily expect it to.
When you factor in the NCAA Tournament — and all NCAA-sanctioned postseason events — leaving North Carolina for 2017, the ACC fallout, multiple major businesses opting not to be based in North Carolina, major musical acts boycotting performing inside the state, it’s hundreds of millions of dollars in lost potential revenue for North Carolina. The economic fallout, combined with an upcoming election in November at the state level, could mean repercussions for those in office who voted House Bill 2 into action.
If the bill is repealed, North Carolina would put itself in the good graces of major corporations and entities again. The ACC has plenty of time to decide what to do come the 2019 and 2020 tournaments. Some political experts anticipate the bill could be overturned in a matter of months.
If that’s the case, men’s basketball won’t be affected at all here. And the NCAA Tournament could return to the state of North Carolina, where it’s been a host to tourney games almost every year over the past two decades, by 2018. Charlotte is still tabbed as a tourney host for the 2018 Big Dance. The NCAA has only made sweeping changes for the 2016-17 season, so the state of North Carolina has some time to reverse action on HB2 if it wants to bring back multiple major national events, inside sports and out.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / ACC Tournament could return to North Carolina in 2019 if HB2 is repealed