NCAA and ACC events officially return to North Carolina after HB2 compromise
After a compromise in late March replaced North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2, the NCAA and ACC quickly said they would consider returning championship events to the state.
And both institutions announced this week that several events will be back in close proximity to Duke.
The NCAA announced Tuesday that Greensboro Coliseum will host men's basketball tournament games in 2020, with Raleigh's PNC Arena hosting in 2021 and Charlotte's Spectrum Center seeing NCAA tournament action as expected next spring. The closest site to Duke in 2019 will be Columbia, S.C., and the Blue Devils could return to Greenville, S.C.—the site of their second-round loss this year after NCAA tournament games were relocated due to HB2—in 2022.
The controversial bill signed into law by former Gov. Pat McCrory limited legal protections for the LGBTQ community. It also required transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate in buildings overseen by the state government.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper worked with Republican legislators to pass House Bill 142 before the NCAA's deadline to repeal HB2 if the state wanted national postseason events to return. House Bill 142 repealed HB2, including regulations on bathroom access by transgender people, but restricts local governments’ authority to create their own non-discrimination ordinances through 2020.
Although many are still unhappy with the compromise, it was enough to get the NCAA to return the following events that could affect Duke back into North Carolina, in addition to the men's basketball NCAA tournament games:
- 2018 and 2020 women's soccer College Cup in Cary
- 2019 and 2021 men's soccer College Cup in Cary
- 2019 field hockey championship in Winston-Salem
- 2019 women's basketball regional in Greensboro
- 2020 women's golf regional in Raleigh
- 2021 women's swimming and diving championships in Greensboro
A day after the NCAA's announcement, the ACC followed suit by officially revealing that the following conference championship events will be returning to the state in the coming years:
- Men's basketball tournament at Charlotte's Spectrum Center in 2019 and Greensboro Coliseum in 2020 (the event was already scheduled to be held at the Barclays Center in New York for the second consecutive year in 2018)
- Football championship game at Charlotte's Bank of America stadium from 2017 to 2020
- Women's basketball tournament at Greensboro Coliseum from 2018 to 2023
- Baseball tournament at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in 2018 and 2019
- Women's soccer tournament at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary in 2018
- Men's and women's tennis tournaments at Cary Tennis Park in 2018
- Women's golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro in 2018
- Men's golf tournament at Old North State Club in New London, N.C., in 2018
- Swimming and diving championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center from 2018 to 2023
Update: The ACC announced May 18 that the women's lacrosse tournament will also be returning to North Carolina next year, with Duke hosting it in Durham.