N. Carolina hop­ing its changes to “bath­room bill” help

The state wants to avoid an­other costly hit when the NCAA selects its ti­tle sites.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Jonathan Drew and Emery P. Dalesio

raleigh, n.c. » Bas­ket­ball- mad North Carolina is hop­ing its move to roll back its “bath­room bill” will help it avoid an­other costly hit when the NCAA selects four years of cham­pi­onship sites for a va­ri­ety of sports.

Col­lege ath­let­ics’ gov­ern­ing body said that it is de­cid­ing thisweek on lo­ca­tions for tour­na­ments through the spring of 2022 and that it wouldn’t award any to North Carolina if the law known as House Bill 2was still on the books.

On Thurs­day, amid the mount­ing pres­sure, North Carolina’s Repub­li­can­con­trolled leg­is­la­ture voted to undo HB 2, and Demo­cratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed the mea­sure into law.

NCAA pres­i­dent Mark Em­mert said the NCAA’s board of direc­tors — the as­so­ci­a­tion’s ultimate rul­ing body composed of mostly univer­sity pres­i­dents— will meet over the next sev­eral days with le­gal an­a­lysts. A de­ci­sion about whether North Carolina sites will be con­sid­ered as event hosts needs to be made by early next week, Em­mert said.

While law­mak­ers re­pealed the much- crit­i­cized pro­vi­sion that said trans­gen­der peo­ple must use the pub­lic bath­rooms that cor­re­spond to the sex on their birth cer­tifi­cate, ac­tivists com­plained that the new law still de­nies gay and trans­gen­der peo­ple cer­tain pro­tec­tions from dis­crim­i­na­tion.

The stakes are high for North Carolina: The As­so­ci­ated Press cal­cu­lated that the statemade $ 71.4 mil­lion from28 neu­tral-siteNCAAevents in the five aca­demic years end­ing last spring. Amore lu­cra­tive slate of events may be in jeop­ardy in this lat­est round of de­ci­sions.

Cities in­clud­ing Raleigh and Greens­boro have sub­mit­ted 133 bids to host NCAA cham­pi­onship events in such sports as golf, swim­ming and bas­ket­ball through the 2021- 22 aca­demic year, with a po­ten­tial eco­nomic im­pact of about $ 250 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the North Carolina Sports As­so­ci­a­tion.

The NCAA has al­ready pulled seven cham­pi­onship events in base­ball, soc­cer, lacrosse and other sports from North Carolina for the cur­rent aca­demic year be­cause of HB 2. Also in jeop­ardy are events for the up­com­ing school year, in­clud­ing March 2018 NCAA men’s bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment games, awarded to Charlotte dur­ing a pre­vi­ous round of selections.

The Greens­boro area — a fre­quent host nick­named “Tour­na­ment Town” — has sub­mit­ted 55 bids through 2022 that could bring in more than $ 100 mil­lion to the area, ac­cord­ing to the Greens­boro Con­ven­tion & Vis­i­tors Bureau. Eight events over the five aca­demic years end­ing in 2015- 16 had an eco­nomic im­pact on the Greens­boro area of more than $ 33 mil­lion, the bureau said.

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