LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- As the NCAA and ACC prepare to move seven championship events out of North Carolina the Tar Heel State’s loss could be Kentuckiana’s gain.
The head of the ACC says it’s a matter of principle and opposing any form of discrimination.
The Louisville Sports Commission has already shown interest in Division III soccer, Division I women’s soccer, and the opening rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
While the rest of the country was trying to wrap their heads around the NCAA pulling events out of North Carolina Karl Schmitt was already on the phone recruiting them to Kentuckiana.
“We’re a great host,” said Schmitt. “The reason we’re a great host for NCAA championships is we have the three universities that are very aggressive in bidding and do a great job hosting. No city has hosted as much NCAA competition as Louisville has over the last ten years.”
The Atlantic Coast Conference is now following the NCAA’s lead in removing championship tournament events from the state of North Carolina over HB2 legislation which forces transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their birth sex.
The NCAA explained their stance in a statement: “NCAA championships and events must promote an inclusive atmosphere. Current North Carolina state laws make it challenging to guarantee that host communities can help deliver on that commitment.”
“Protection, safety, security of women and girls in North Carolina is our utmost importance and that’s what we still believe,” said North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forrest.
“The NCAA would bode well to care more about the safety of college athletes across this country far more than they care about their ticket sales,” said North Carolina GOP Spokeswoman Kami Mueller.
Schmitt says North Carolina’s loss could be Louisville’s gain which could generate more millions of dollars in tourism revenue that could leave a lasting impact that’s immeasurable.
“It’s very competitive to get people to come here for jobs,” said Schmitt. “A lot of times they look at what is there to do in Louisville, it’s a great sports town. The quality of life is a huge opportunity for us to bring people to this community.”
Schmitt says he would have to speak to UofL officials before deciding whether or not to bid on any ACC tournament games, but ACC officials have expressed a desire to place those games in neutral sites which may take Louisville out of the running.