GREENSBORO, N.C. (WFMY) — Millions of dollars meant for Greensboro went down to Greenville, South Carolina this weekend.
Greenville hosted first- and second-round men’s NCAA Tournament games this year. Those games were supposed to be in Greensboro, but controversy over House Bill 2 forced the NCAA to move the games to Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.
The Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau says the city missed out on an estimated $14.5 million when the event moved south.
Local hotels and restaurants felt the impact especially hard.
“I thought, ‘Oh no, we’re going to lose a lot of money, definitely,'” said Karen Grissom, general manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites on Gate City Boulevard. “It’s a huge economic impact, not only for our hotel, but all the businesses in the Triad area.”
Grissom says her hotel missed out on about $80,000 in revenue when the games weren’t in Greensboro this weekend.
Business was also slow at the Santa Fe Mexican Grill, which shares the same parking lot.
“We were expecting this week to be a good week, and it was slower than normal,” said Diana Perez, a member of the wait staff.
Santa Fe managers say they believe they would have made about $15,000 more than they did this weekend if the tournament was in town.
The Greenville Visitors Bureau has not calculated the tournament’s economic impact on the city yet, but bureau officials say Greenville was the only tournament venue to sell out all three of its weekend sessions.