Atlanta hopes to gain sporting events lost to N.C. over bathroom bill

Will Atlanta benefit from NCAA and ACC move?

ATLANTA -- These days, the conversations around where to hold NCAA games are almost as eventful as the games themselves.

Right now, all that's certain is where they will not be in what some are calling a mass exodus from the state of North Carolina.

Both the NCAA and ACC have decided to remove all playoff and championship games from the state in direct response to the controversial "transgender restroom directive".

Now, at least six Division 1 men's basketball games - among many others - are in need of a new home.

Back in March, City Council President Ceasar Mitchell was not shy about opening Atlanta's arms. He was ready to host the NBA All-Star Game even before NBA officials pulled it from North Carolina over the summer.

The council even passed a resolution to that effect.

"If you're going to put out for RFP [request for proposals] for a sports event or a number of sports events, the city of Atlanta certainly is interested," Mitchell said.

Even before the new stadium started to take shape, Atlanta was already very familiar with hosting large college sporting events. Back in 2013, the men's SEC basketball tournament brought more than $24 million to the city.

The year before that saw the men's NCAA Final Four and national championship game bringing some $58 million to the city.

On Thursday, the Atlanta Convention Center and Visitor's Bureau said it's too early to even make projections about a possible dollar amount.

But already, the possibility of some of the games finding homes in Atlanta is raising eyebrows.

"I think there have been conversations and meetings," Mitchell said. "In fact, there have been - and I think that they will they will be ready if the opportunity appropriately presents itself."

The Atlanta Sports Council said they've not spoken with the NCAA or ACC about this.

Keep in mind, this doesn't just impact basketball but ACC championship football, golf, soccer, baseball and swimming - all with non-season events planned in the state.

So that shortens the timeline. ACC football championships are in December leaving only 3 months to find a new home.

(© 2016 WXIA)


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