NCAA returns tournament games back to North Carolina

Beth Cruz
April 19, 2017

The NCAA will return events to North Carolina after selecting two sites in the state for championship games in the coming five years.

The NCAA pulled its championship events out of North Carolina past year after the state passed the controversial HB2 law, better known as the "bathroom bill".

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed a compromise bill March 30 after it was approved by the Republican-controlled legislature.

The details of HB 142 include all state-run institutions (such as public schools and governmental business) from being required to "adopt" policies that allow for all transgender people to use the bathroom of the sex they identify with.

In September 2016, the NCAA announced it was pulling all championship events for the 2016-17n season from North Carolina over issues from HB2. On April 7, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that Charlotte is eligible to host the NBA All-Star Game in 2019.

"When the NCAA originally withdrew events from North Carolina, they did so because they claimed to care about "fairness and inclusion" for college athletes and fans", said James Esseks, director of the ACLU's LGBT and HIV Project, in a statement from the ACLU of North Carolina.

Of the 133 reported North Carolina bids, 21 were successful.

Along with the March Madness dates returning to N.C., the NCAA also approved several dates in Cary, including the D-II World Series from 2019-22, men's soccer College Cup in 2019 and 2021 and women's soccer College Cup in 2018 and 2020.

Charlotte's sports leaders are "disappointed we won't have the opportunity to host any championship games in this upcoming site selection cycle for NCAA", but are excited for next year, said Tom Murray, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitor's Authority.

The announcement comes as civil liberty advocates continued to ramp up pressure on NCAA to maintain its boycott of the state when planning its future national sporting events.

The state also has a previously scheduled men's basketball subregional in 2018 in Charlotte. "We look forward to working with our membership, the cities and local organizing committees who may host for the first time, as well as the groups who will repeat as host sites".

In addition to holding its own games at the Spectrum Center, the Charlotte Hornets are responsible for filling seats for other events during the year.

The first- and second-round men's basketball games in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 2020 will mark the first time since 2012 that tournament games will have been played in that venue.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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