North Carolina on brink of losing 6 years of NCAA championship events over HB2 group says

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The NCAA is holding the threat of pulling events from NC for six years over HB2.

North Carolina could lose dozens of NCAA championship events if legislation limiting protections for the LGBT community isn't repealed, the executive director of a sports group said.

Scott Dupree, executive director of the Raleigh Sports Alliance, told The Charlotte Observer cities, colleges, and universities have submitted 133 bids to host events through 2022. He said that represents more than $250 million in economic impact. He said the state could have until mid-March to make a decision.

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"In a matter of days, our state is about to suffer significant historic losses in the sports tourism industry," Dupree said. "And our window to save these events is closing fast."

Dupree said sources at the NCAA have said committees representing different sports will begin eliminating bids from North Carolina if House Bill 2 remains on the books.

READ ALL STORIES ABOUT HB2 HERE

In a letter to lawmakers released Monday, Dupree wrote affected events include the March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament in cities like Greensboro, Raleigh, and Charlotte.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL LETTER

Last year, the NCAA withdrew basketball tournament games, and the Atlantic Coast Conference moved its football championship from Charlotte to Orlando because of the measure.

The law was a response to an antidiscrimination ordinance passed by the Charlotte City Council. In late December, an apparent deal to kill HB2 fell apart.

A survey conducted by The Associated Press and eight newspapers showed only 12 of 50 state senators and 40 of 118 current House members said they support abolishing the law, nearly all of them Democrats. Many Republicans say the law is needed to protect safety and privacy, while critics say those dangers are nonexistent.

"The NCAA news means there is no time to waste in repealing House Bill 2," Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. "The bipartisan votes of both Democrats and Republicans are there for repeal if the Republican legislative leadership will just put it to a vote."

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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