Threat of losing NCAA championships looms over NC lawmakers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – For college basketball fans, this is their favorite time of year.

It’s possible for the next six years, North Carolina will not be a host site for any NCAA tournament or championship games with House Bill 2 still on the books.

The NCAA is expected to decide about the sites of those championships in late February or early March.

“If we don’t get in on the ground floor of that five to six year period, we don’t get any championships,” said Wake County Commissioner John Burns.

Burns concerned about the potential of North Carolina losing naan tournaments and championships through at least 2022.

Wake County certainly would see a big impact.

“In communities like Cary, like Raleigh, this is a very important part of our sports tourism. Cary has set up lots of public facilities that are used by the NCAA routinely. They will not be used by the NCAA if HB2 is not repealed,” Burns said.

It is estimated the games would bring the state $250 million in revenue.

The NCAA will announce its decision on April 18 but when those decisions are actually made could be happening right around now.

At the General Assembly, lawmakers are divided over House Bill 186, a bill that would amend HB2 but also includes a provision that could lead to a referendum vote at the city or county level on local non-discrimination ordinances.

“There is time pressure obviously, the NCAA and others. We’ve known this time tables for a while,” said Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson).

McGrady is a primary sponsor if HB186.

That bill has been assigned to the house rules committee and the bill sponsor said he will not take it out of committee until he knows he has the votes to get it passed.

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