On Wednesday, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced it was moving its football championship out of North Carolina because a controversial transgender bill remains law.
James Clements, Clemson University president and chairman of the ACC Council of Presidents, said the decision to move the championship game out of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte was made after “wide-ranging and vigorous discussion” over the “bathroom bill” passed by the North Carolina General Assembly earlier this year.
“The decision to move the neutral site championships out of North Carolina while HB 2 remains the law was not an easy one but it is consistent with the shared values of inclusion and non-discrimination at all of our institutions,” Clements said, in a statement released by the ACC.
The move by the conference follows a wider decision by the NCAA – the governing body of collegiate athletics – to pull its seven championships out of North Carolina because of the bill.
The bill, regulates that transgendered individuals must use the public bathroom of the gender they are biologically, not the gender they most relate to.
The NCAA opened a bid portal for those seven events on Tuesday with bids due Sept. 27 and sites announced on Oct. 7. The seven championships up for bid are:
- 2016 Women’s College Cup – Dec. 2 and 4
- 2016 Division III men’s and women’s soccer championships – Dec. 2-3
- 2017 Division I men’s first/second round basketball tournament – March 17 and 19
- 2017 Division I women’s golf regional – May 8-10
- 2017 Division III men’s and women’s tennis championships – May 22-27
- 2017 Division I women’s lacrosse championship – May 26 and 28
- 2017 Division II baseball championship – May 27-June 3
Upstate officials said they are looking at the available events and dates to determine if there is a good fit.
“We are going to look at what we can do and what makes sense,” said Robin Wright, senior sales manager for Visit Greenville SC. “We obviously going to look at men’s basketball and we have had conversations with the NCAA loosely and we are looking at dates to see what will fit. I feel pretty confident that we will submit something.”
In Spartanburg, Chris Jennings, executive vice president of the Spartanburg Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said they too are looking at what is available and will attempt to see if something fits.
“We are reviewing the bid requirements and this is not something you can just go after you have to have a willing collegiate partner,” Jennings said. “We are also interested in the higher value business and not just going after anything.”