The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Wednesday that it will pull all league championship games from neutral sites in the state of North Carolina.
“We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year,” the ACC Council of Presidents said in a statement.
This will impact the ACC football championship that was scheduled to be held December 3 in Charlotte. Also, the ACC baseball championship in Durham will be moved.
The other ACC championships that will be moved are women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s golf.
The ACC says it will announce new locations for the championships at a later date.
“The ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “Today’s decision is one of principle, and while this decision is the right one, we recognize there will be individuals and communities that are supportive of our values as well as our championship sites that will be negatively affected. Hopefully, there will be opportunities beyond 2016-17 for North Carolina neutral sites to be awarded championships.”
On Monday, the NCAA said it was relocating seven of its championships scheduled to be played in the state, including the men's basketball first- and second-round matchups scheduled for next March in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Salem hosts NCAA championships, but officials say it's too early to know if they will bid on any additional championships or ACC events.
But there are certainly people who would like to see the Roanoke Valley gain events.
"We have five ACC teams within our region, so Roanoke would be perfect to have the ACC championship. We'd love to have 'em," State Senator John Edwards said.
Edwards sees a win-win situation when it comes to hosting ACC championships.
"I think whenever we have events like this, it's fantastic. It's good for the region, good for tourism, for the economy, and for the entertainment value for our citizens. The opportunity to have an ACC championship, it's dynamite!"
Salem's hosted 80 championships of one-kind or another since 1993, but this is a number's game for city leaders.
It's unlikely they could hold the kind of crowds that came out for the 2011 Tech-Clemson game.
Roanoke College's Athletic Director Chris Allison said they've talked about bidding for the soccer championships, but it's way too early to know if they would even bid on it