For the first time in its history, the ACC is headed to a new city.
The ACC is relocating its headquarters to Charlotte from its longtime home in Greensboro, N.C., the conference announced via release Tuesday morning. The announcement, delivered on behalf of the ACC Board of Directors, concludes a search for a new home that began in August 2021 during league commissioner Jim Phillips’ first year in his new role.
"The Board of Directors is pleased that the conference headquarters will be joining the Charlotte community and is quite excited about the long-term opportunities that will afford," Duke President and ACC Board of Directors Chair Vincent Price said in Tuesday’s release. "The Board also recognizes and expresses our thanks for what has been a truly wonderful relationship with Greensboro over the last 70 years, and we appreciate the support shown by the state of North Carolina to have the league office remain in the state. We are grateful to the city of Charlotte and look forward to a flourishing partnership."
In its search for a new headquarters, the ACC considered three cities, which Phillips confirmed at July’s ACC Football Kickoff: Charlotte, Orlando, Fla., and Greensboro, the city in which the conference was founded in 1953 and has been located ever since.
The 2022-23 academic year will serve as a transition period for the conference’s relocation to its new headquarters in Charlotte’s Bank of America Tower.
Four of the ACC’s seven founding schools—Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest—are situated in North Carolina, but the conference has since expanded geographically to include members schools as far as Notre Dame and Miami. Tuesday’s announcement keeps the ACC in its original home state while undoubtedly offering new opportunities amid a rapidly changing landscape in college athletics.
Notably, Charlotte has hosted the ACC men’s basketball tournament on 13 occasions. The city has hosted the ACC football championship since 2010, with one exception in 2016, and has been scheduled since 2018 to host the title game at Bank of America Stadium until 2030.
"Today is a transformational day for the ACC and for our 15 world class institutions. We truly appreciate the state of North Carolina for its dedication to keeping the conference headquarters in the state, and the Charlotte leadership for their commitment and ongoing partnership," Phillips said in Tuesday’s release. "After a comprehensive, inclusive and deliberate process, the Board decided that Charlotte – an amazing and vibrant community – not only meets, but exceeds, the needs of the ACC. Our new home will provide both known and unknown benefits to our student-athletes, member schools and conference office staff. The decision to relocate from Greensboro was a difficult one, and the entire city and its first-class representatives will always hold an incredibly special place in the history and legacy of the ACC."
Phillips and Price spoke to the media Tuesday morning via Zoom following the conference's announcement, with both expressing gratitude to Greensboro and Charlotte, along with state and city representatives and Newmark, the global commercial real estate services firm that assisted in the ACC's relocation decision.
"We were not without being mindful of the fact that we have been located in Greensboro for the last 70 years," Price said in Tuesday's media availability. "This was not an easy decision for the board as we recognize the truly wonderful relationship we've had with Greensboro. But we are thrilled that we're remaining in North Carolina, and we appreciate the support shown by the state of North Carolina and very pleased to maintain that historic relationship."
Phillips spoke Tuesday on the reasons for the conference's decision to make Charlotte its new home, citing the size and diversity of the city's population, proximity to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, a "forward-facing brand opportunity" and "synergies to existing and prospective partners in a variety of spaces, including the financial space, including corporate sponsorships."
Phillips also fielded questions Tuesday regarding $15 million in allocated state funds for the ACC to remain located in North Carolina.
"I think the return on investment will highly outweigh the $15 million," Phillips said. "But again, I can't speak for anyone other than the ACC. We looked at that and that was part of the agreement, and I think the ACC certainly feels that there will be major benefits for the state."
The second-year commissioner said that he has "no hesitancy at all" that the ACC will meet the requirements set by state legislature surrounding conference championships held in North Carolina. Phillips added that the ACC will "absolutely" continue to host conference events in Greensboro.
This story was updated Tuesday afternoon following the ACC's media availability with Phillips and Price.
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Jonathan Levitan is a Trinity senior and was previously sports editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.