The NCAA selected North Carolina to host NCAA tournament games for the first time since the repeal of the state's controversial HB2 law. Greensboro, North Carolina, was chosen to welcome March Madness' first and second round in 2020.
An official announcement including the host cities through 2022 was posted on NCAA.com Tuesday.
Jason Hanna, Madison Park and Eliott C. McLaughlin of CNN reported North Carolina officially repealed the law in late March. Gov. Roy Cooper said the new agreement was "not a perfect deal" but a step in a positive direction due to the problems with the bathroom bill.
"For over a year now, House Bill 2 has been a dark cloud hanging over our great state," he said. "It has stained our reputation. It has discriminated against our people and it has caused great economic harm in many of our communities."
The decision came a few days after Emery P. Dalesio and Jonathan Drew of the Associated Press noted the outlet estimated the state would lose $3.76 billion in economic impact over 12 years if the law had stayed in place. The absence of NCAA games was listed among the losses.
James Kleckley of East Carolina University commented on the findings to the AP.
"I don't know of any examples where somebody located here because of HB2," he said. "If you look at a law, whether or not you agree with it or don't agree with it, there are going to be positive effects and negative effects. Virtually everything we know about (HB2) are the negative effects. Even anecdotally I don't know any positive effects."
The NCAA announced April 4 it would once again consider North Carolina as a host site:
We are actively determining site selections, and this new law has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment. If we find that our expectations of a discrimination-free environment are not met, we will not hesitate to take necessary action at any time.
Along with the 2020 NCAA basketball tournament, North Carolina was also chosen for several other events as part of Tuesday's official listing:
|NCAA Championship Events in North Carolina 2019-22|
|2019 & 2021||Soccer College Cup||Cary|
|2019||Women's Basketball Tournament||Greensboro|
|2019||Women's Field Hockey Championship||Winston-Salem|
|2020||Women's Golf Regional||Raleigh|
|2018 & 2020||Women's Soccer College Cup||Cary|
|2021||Women's Swimming and Diving Championships||Greensboro|
The NCAA's statement in early April noted future events as dependent on the state's ability to provide "a safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere for all those watching and participating in our events."
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