Every year that Greensboro, North Carolina hosted ACC basketball tournaments, it gave a substantial economic boost to the city’s businesses near the Greensboro Coliseum.
But with the ACC’s announcement in September that its headquarters will be moving from Greensboro to Charlotte in 2023, there’s a feeling in the area that ACC Tournament may soon follow.
“Maybe not in the short-term future, but yes, I do feel that (the ACC will move the tournaments),” Lewis Money, manager of Tailgators, a local sports shop in Greensboro near the coliseum, said. “Not to mention, local politicians are going to definitely be in the (ACC’s) ear (to move the tournaments).”
Greensboro has hosted 29 of the past 70 ACC men’s basketball tournaments, 15 more than the next closest cities. On top of that, the city has hosted numerous women’s basketball tournaments and swimming and diving championships.
These sporting events filled hotels and brought higher demand to local sports shops, restaurants and bars, especially when in-state teams had strong seasons. The businesses in the coliseum area became accustomed to the increased demand and revenue that came with hosting.
If the ACC’s tournaments are gradually hosted elsewhere, Money and many Greensboro citizens believe it will have a negative impact on the businesses.
“Whenever we found out that (the ACC) was relocating its headquarters, obviously it was kind of a blow to Greensboro,” Emily Purcell, co-owner of Freeman’s Grub and Pub near the Greensboro Coliseum, said. “Having that taken away from us was a huge thing financially, so that was the biggest thing is just thinking about the finance of all of Greensboro.”
The ACC’s contract to hold the women’s tournament in Greensboro is expiring after this season’s tournament.
Despite the general skepticism surrounding the future of ACC Tournaments, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips and Duke President Vincent Price were insistent that the ACC would maintain a connection with Greensboro, given the conference’s deep roots in the city.