Raleigh, NC – Scott Dupree, Executive Director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, said Tuesday (March 28) that if North Carolina doesn’t repeal HB2 in 48 hours, it will lose NCAA championship events through 2022.
“I have confirmed with a contact very close to the NCAA that its deadline for HB2 is 48 hours from now. If HB2 has not been resolved by that time, the NCAA will have no choice but to move forward without the North Carolina bids. The NCAA has already delayed the bid review process once and has waited as long as it possibly can, and now it must finalize all championship site selections through spring of 2022,” said Dupree.
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh) and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) issued the following statement:
“We are encouraged by the bipartisan efforts underway in the state legislature to find a solution. That being said, we will not endorse any one bill; we simply seek a swift compromise that will allow us to begin to repair the reputation of our region and state and get back to selling and marketing Raleigh as the thriving Southern capital city that it is, one shaped by the passionate minds of its inclusive and welcoming residents.
We don’t know how the NCAA or other organizations will view specific proposed legislation to repeal and/or replace HB2. Therefore we will not attempt to speak on their behalf or on behalf of any other clients/groups that have expressed concern over holding events in Raleigh and Wake County.”
The purported deadline comes a day after an Associated Press (AP) analysis that shows North Carolina stands to lose $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years because of HB2.
The AP analysis – compiled through interviews and public records requests – represents the largest reckoning yet of how much the law, passed one year ago, could cost the state. The law excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide antidiscrimination protections, and requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings.
Still, AP’s tally is likely an underestimation of the law’s true costs. The count includes only data obtained from businesses and state or local officials regarding projects that canceled or relocated because of HB2. A business project was counted only if AP determined through public records or interviews that HB2 was why it pulled out.
Those include PayPal canceling a 400-job project in Charlotte, CoStar backing out of negotiations to bring 700-plus jobs to the same area, and Deutsche Bank scuttling a plan for 250 jobs in the Raleigh area. Other companies that backed out include Adidas, which is building its first U.S. sports shoe factory employing 160 near Atlanta rather than a High Point site, and Voxpro, which opted to hire hundreds of customer support workers in Athens, Georgia, rather than the Raleigh area.
Some projects that left, such as a Lionsgate television production that backed out of plans in Charlotte, weren’t included because of a lack of data on their economic impact.
The AP also tallied the losses of dozens of conventions, concerts, and sporting events, ranging from the NBA All-Star Game to a Bruce Springsteen show, deprived the state of more than $196 million. The number was compiled through email exchanges and interviews with local tourism officials.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan – who leads the largest company based in North Carolina – said he’s spoken privately to business leaders who went elsewhere with projects or events because of the controversy, and he fears more decisions like that are being made quietly.
Shortly after he signed the law, Republican then-Gov. Pat McCrory issued a statement assuring residents it wouldn’t affect North Carolina’s status as “one of the top states to do business in the country.”
HB2 supporters say its costs have been tiny compared with an economy estimated at more than $500 billion a year, roughly the size of Sweden’s. They say they’re willing to absorb those costs if the law prevents heterosexual predators posing as transgender people from entering private spaces to molest women and girls – acts the law’s detractors say are imagined.
Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, one of the strongest supporters, accused news organizations of creating a false picture of economic upheaval. A global equestrian competition that’s coming to North Carolina in 2018 despite HB2 is projected to have an economic impact bigger than the sporting events that have canceled, Forest said. The Swiss-based group behind the event estimated its spending poured about $250 million into the French region of Normandy the last time it was held – 2014. The organization said the figure came from a study by consulting and accounting firm Deloitte, but the Federation Equestre Internationale declined to release the report.
Economic losses also hit smaller towns, such as those surrounding the University of North Carolina. When the San Francisco Symphony pulled out of two concerts scheduled for April 2017, the move had a ripple effect totaling about $325,000, according to Patty Griffin, of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.
“Memorial Hall will be empty those two nights and see no revenue for tickets or concessions, and no employees will work,” she said via email. “The attendees for most of them who have dinner, drinks and desserts either before or after the performance will not come out, which impacts local restaurants.”
Green, the Durham tourism official, said, “When you think about it, this whole thing is just such a Dumpster fire, and nobody wants to go near it.”
Source: www.abc11.com; AP