ACC follows NCAA lead by returning championship events to state

Contracts with venues that had multi-year agreements with the ACC have been restructured and extended a year to compensate for events that were moved

Jeremy Brevard—USA Today Sports
ACC commissioner John Swofford announced Wednesday that conference championship events in eight sports would be returned to North Carolina now that the controversial HB2 has been repealed

Twenty-four hours after the NCAA awarded 23 national championship events to North Carolina through 2022, the ACC followed suit Wednesday by restoring many of its neutral site championships to the state. The move reverses a decision made by the league’s Council of Presidents last September to relocate those events to other states in protest of the controversial — and since repealed — House Bill 2. “We value all of our partners in North Carolina and appreciate their support and cooperation,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “We are thrilled to renew our relationships with so many terrific people, outstanding cities and first-class venues.” In all, championships in eight sports will be returned to North Carolina, effective at the start of the 2017-18 academic year this fall. Contracts with venues that had multi-year agreements with the ACC have been restructured and extended a year to compensate for events that were moved. The most noteworthy event to come back to the state is the ACC’s Football Championship Game, which will be played on December 2 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Last year’s game between Clemson and Virginia Tech was played in Orlando, Fla. Other championship events returning to the state include women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis. The ACC women’s soccer tournament will be back in November 2018.The ACC Tournament return includes back-to-back years in Durham in 2018 and 2019.”The Durham Bulls are excited to once again host the ACC Baseball Championship when it returns to Durham in 2018 and 2019,” the team said in a statement. “The DBAP is the site of some of the tournament’s most memorable games and moments, and is also the site of numerous tournament attendance records. We look forward to college baseball’s best conference returning to Downtown Durham to showcase the conference, the ballpark and the city to a national audience once again.” The league’s highest profile postseason event — it’s men’s basketball tournament, was already scheduled to be played at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., next year. But it will return to North Carolina in Charlotte for 2019 and Greensboro in 2020 as previously scheduled.Wednesday’s announcement by the ACC, coupled with the NCAA’s awarding of championships back to North Carolina on Tuesday, ended a nearly year-long battle that saw both organizations — along with the NBA — pull high-profile events out of of North Carolina. HB2, the so-called bathroom bill, was repealed by the NC General Assembly last month, opening the door for both the NCAA and ACC to lift their boycotts of the state. “We are happy for our students that they will again be able to compete at the highest level in the postseason here in our home state,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement issued after the NCAA’s announcement. “We are also pleased for the people and the communities for whom these championship events mean so much to their livelihoods and economies.” Here is the list of championship events, with dates and venues, that were returned to the state by the ACC on Wednesday: Football: Dec. 2, 2017, Bank of America Stadium, CharlotteWomen’s basketball: Feb. 28-March 4, 2018, Greensboro ColiseumBaseball: May 22-27, 2018, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, DurhamWomen’s swimming & diving: Feb. 14-17, 2018, Greensboro Aquatic CenterMen’s swimming & diving: Feb. 21-24, 2018 Greensboro Aquatic CenterMen’s golf: April, 20-22, 2018, Old North State Club, New LondonWomen’s golf: April 20-22, 2018 Sedgefield Country Club, GreensboroMen’s & Women’s tennis: April 25-29, 2018 Cary Tennis ParkWomen’s soccer: Nov. 2-4, 2018, WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary