Sports official: HB 2 'closing window' on NCAA events in North Carolina

North Carolina may be in danger of losing more than 100 major sporting events over the next five years if it doesn't repeal its controversial "bathroom law".

The governing body for USA college athletics is reviewing bids to host events through spring 2022, including 133 from North Carolina cities and universities, said Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance. "Our contacts at the NCAA tell us that, due to their stance on HB2, all North Carolina bids will be pulled from the review process and removed from consideration", Dupree wrote in the letter, obtained by WRAL News.

"I wrote the letter as a member of the North Carolina Sports Association, and with the approval of its board of directors, in order to provide our legislators in the General Assembly with the most up-to-date information in regard to the NCAA's ongoing bid process, which is winding down", Dupree said in an email statement. "Unless they act immediately, Senator Phil Berger and Speaker Tim Moore will be directly responsible for North Carolina losing out on six years of NCAA events and hundreds of millions of dollars", said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs.

North Carolina institutions are bidding to host 133 championship-level NCAA events over the next six years. The Republican-backed legislation blocks North Carolina towns from passing legal protections for LGBT people, effectively forcing transgender people to use the public restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their biological sex instead of their gender identity.

The 133 bids represent more than $250 million in potential economic impact for the state.

"In a matter of days, our state's sports tourism industry will suffer crushing, long-term losses and will essentially close its doors to NCAA business", the letter continues.

In his letter, Dupree said "Our last chance to save these events is now".


The letter prompted a response from Gov. Roy Cooper, who said there is enough support for a repeal. "It will be a shame if HB2 is resolved one day too late".

An effort to repeal the law failed in December at the legislature.

A version of the bill was defeated by a 32-16 vote, with all 16 Democrats and 16 Republicans voting against a clean repeal of the bill.

"They were trying to stop something that wasn't a full repeal", he said. The moratorium could be revived over and over, making any future local anti-discrimination measure DOA.

DeCock writes Monday that the state now has just 12 days to repeal HB2 or face a prolonged NCAA and ACC drought (he says the conference will continued to move events out of its home state until the law is struck down).

In a statement, he said Cooper would "have to work toward a compromise that keeps women from being forced to share bathrooms and shower facilities with men to move past this distraction".

The North Carolina Sports Association on Monday sent a letter to members of the General Assembly encouraging legislators to repeal House Bill 2.

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