ACC Championship football game leaving North Carolina over controversial bill

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Following in the wake of the NCAA announcing it would pull all championship sporting events from North Carolina over the controversial House Bill 2, the ACC announced Wednesday they would remove all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year from North Carolina.

Included in those sporting events is the ACC Championship Game, which has been held in Charlotte annually since the 2010 season.

The only other places the game has ever been played are Jacksonville and Tampa.

First Coast News has reached out to the Jacksonville Sports Council to find out if they will be bidding to host the game.

The ACC Council of Presidents released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites. 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. All locations will be announced in the future from the conference office.”

ACC Commissioner John Swofford says the decision is “one of principle,” and that hopefully North Carolina will have the opportunity to host neutral site championships beyond 2016-17.

“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. 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.”

Neutral site championships held by the ACC include the following sports:

Women’s Soccer
Football
Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving
Women’s Basketball
Men’s and Women’s Tennis
Women’s Golf
Men’s Golf
Baseball


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