NC universities, sports groups nervously await NCAA announcement of host sites
Posted April 17
Updated April 18
Raleigh, N.C. — For North Carolina universities and sports group entities, pre-game jitters are setting in as the NCAA prepares to announce tournament sites through 2022 on Tuesday.
“Our mindset right now is positive anticipation,” said Doug McRainey, Cary Parks Director. “We have a huge stake.”
In Cary alone the decisions translate to millions of dollars -- and a boost for local shops, restaurants and hotels.
When House Bill 2 hit the books, the NCAA and the ACC pulled multiple events in North Carolina -- including the NCAA men's basketball tournament and the ACC football championship and the ACC women's basketball tournament. The investments made over the years to brand the Triangle as a premier sports destination, were instantly in jeopardy.
Lawmakers repealed the law in early April in NCthe form of House Bill 142, but many critics say didn’t go far enough. Whether North Carolina will pay a price at the hands of the NCAA anyway remains to be seen.
“I'm not sure what to expect as it relates to this,” said Scott Dupree, Executive Director of the Great Raleigh Sports Alliance. “I guess HB2 after-effect. I do know that the NCAA has assured us that all North Carolina bids received full and fair consideration and I have no reason not to trust them on that.”
Still, Dupree is keeping his optimism in check. Even under the best of circumstances, scoring a high-profile event is extremely competitive.
Dozens of NCAA committees in every sport across all division levels have been meeting for months to consider bids placed by hundreds of cities. On March 23, the NCAA placed a deadline for North Carolina to repeal the law or lose consideration for future bids.
And for the majority of that time, North Carolina was off the table.
Of the 133 bids submitted by venues in North Carolina, 57 are in Wake County. Twenty-seven of those are in Cary.
“The NCAA knows how well we host our events and our sense was they very much wanted the repealed law so the championships could come back to North Carolina and the town of Cary,” McRainey said. “We're banking on that.
Insiders said it will ultimately be judged on whether the state is awarded a men's basketball event. They have submitted bids for four years.
Bids from Wake County to host NCAA events through 2022:
Men’s Basketball 1st/2nd Rds. (4 years
Men’s Basketball Regionals (4)
Men’s College Cup Soccer (4)
Women’s College Cup Soccer (4)
Division I Wrestling (4)
Division I Tennis (1)
Division I Women’s Lacrosse (4)
National Collegiate Rifle (2)
Division II Baseball (4)
Division II Cross Country (3)
Division II Track & Field (4)
Division III Softball (4)
Division III Tennis (3)
Division I Women’s Gymnastics Regional (4)
Division I Women’s Golf Regional (4)
Division I Men’s Golf Regional (4)