Fallout continues from HB2 in the state of North Carolina when it comes to sports related events. The NCAA and ACC recently announced their decisions to pull championship games and tournament play from the Tar Heel State because of the legislation. And there could be a local impact, too.
The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) has also released a statement following this week’s news.
“The CAA is continuing to monitor all aspects of a conference championship event being held in the state of North Carolina,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said in an emailed statement to media outlets. “At all CAA championship events our goal is to provide an environment in which our fans, student-athletes, administrators and all people involved in the event are treated fairly and in a non-discriminatory manner. I will continue to work with our Council of Presidents and Athletics Directors in assessing this matter going forward.”
UNC-Wilmington, a full-time member of the CAA, is scheduled to host conference championships in volleyball, baseball and women’s golf later on this year and into the spring of 2017. The baseball championship site was determined through a bid process and voted on by the conference’s Athletic Directors. The volleyball championship site was determined based on a new conference bylaw that awards the championship to the previous season’s regular-season champion or tournament champion if there is a tie for the regular-season title.
While no study has been done regarding economic impact from each tournament for this area, Towson University, also a CAA member, released information back in 2014 related to the planning and execution of the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship in Baltimore. According to their figures, the tournament generated nearly $5.2 million in output and approximately $1.8 million in wages.
To say the upcoming CAA volleyball, baseball and women’s golf championships would create this type of monetary impact in the Wilmington area is far-fetched, but it an almost certainty that hotel rooms, local restaurants and tourism venues would receive a boost during the course of each event.
There has been no clear cut decision regarding the future of the respective tournaments in Wilmington as of right now, but with the CAA Volleyball Championship set for November 18-20 at Hanover Hall on campus, it’s hard to think it would be moved with the conference schedule set to get underway in less than a week simply due to the logistics of holding or relocating the tournament. However, baseball and golf could soon follow the line of major NCAA Basketball Tournament games and the ACC Football Championship from being moved out of state.
According to the Asheville Citizen Times, the Southern Conference (SoCon) has also called a special meeting to discuss its plans in regards to SoCon Championships in the State of North Carolina. The SoCon men’s and women’s basketball tournaments have been held in Asheville since 2012 and are scheduled to remain through 2021.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has also released a statement regarding the ACC’s decision on 2016-17 championship events.
“The issue of redefining gender and basic norms of privacy will be resolved in the near future in the United States court system for not only North Carolina, but the entire nation,” McCrory’s statement reads. “I strongly encourage all public and private institutions to both respect and allow our nation’s judicial system to proceed without economic threats or political retaliation toward the 22 states that are currently challenging government overreach.”