Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

NCAA tournament returns to North Carolina following repeal of controversial 'bathroom bill'

NCAA tournament returns to North Carolina following repeal of controversial 'bathroom bill'

In total, North Carolina is scheduled to host 23 NCAA championship events through 2022. After legislators scurried to repeal and replace House Bill 2, the NCAA said they "reluctantly voted" to allow consideration of championship bids in North Carolina.

The conference, in partnership with the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Sports Foundation and Visit Charlotte, announced that the 2017 Dr Pepper ACC Championship Football Game will return to Bank of America Stadium and will be played on Saturday, December 2.

Congrats go out to Greensboro which landed men's basketball first and second round March Madness games in 2020 and women's regional basketball in 2019. The 2015 match-up between Clemson and North Carolina attracted a crowd of 75,514, which is a Bank of America record.

Seeking to win back business, state lawmakers repealed the law on March 30, but they also approved a new measure banning cities from passing their own anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people until 2020, drawing outrage from civil rights advocates.

The NCAA decision comes 14 days after the Republican-controlled state legislature approved House Bill 142 and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed it into law.

The NCAAawarded the men's and women's golf championship to Oklahoma State in 2018 and Arkansas in 2019 and fencing to Cleveland in 2019, Detroit in 2020, Penn State in 2021 and Notre Dame in 2022. Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum and Moody Coliseum will be first-time hosts.

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"Working with our valued host institutions and conferences, as well as sports commissions and cities, to create a great atmosphere for student-athletes, coaches and fans with the men's and women's basketball tournaments is our goal every year", said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball.

"We are actively determining site selections, and this new law has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment", the NCAA Board of Governors stated in a release earlier this month.

"Securing this NCAA event adds to Winston-Salem's impressive portfolio and solidifies our profile as a destination with state-of-the-art sporting facilities that generate positive economic return", said Richard Geiger, president of Visit Winston-Salem. It will return to North Carolina in 2019 (Charlotte) and 2020 (Greensboro).

We will, of course, host first and second round March Madness games next year.

And yes, North Carolina will host some events.

That included the ACC Championship Football Game, which was instead played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Of those, 10 will be from Division I, five from Division II and eight from Division III.

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