ACC football championship, other events heading back to North Carolina
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The ACC is bringing championship events back to its home state.
The conference, which is based in Greensboro, announced today it will bring its football championship game back to Charlotte this year. The 13th annual game will be played at Bank of America Stadium Dec. 2, the conference said in a news release. It’s the first contracted league championship to return to a neutral site in North Carolina since Gov. Roy Cooper signed a law rolling back the controversial HB2. The conference had moved events from the Tar Heel State in response to the so-called “bathroom bill,” including last year’s football title game, which moved to Orlando.
The ACC says championship events in women’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis will also return to the state during the 2017-18 academic year. The ACC Women’s Soccer Championship will follow suit in November 2018.
The ACC Council of Presidents voted last September to relocate neutral site championship events in each of those sports for the 2016-17 academic year. The Council’s decision to return neutral site championships to North Carolina, beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, took place on Friday, March 31.
“We are pleased that ACC neutral site championships will return to the state of North Carolina beginning with the 2017-18 academic year,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “We value all of our partners in North Carolina and appreciate their support and cooperation. We are thrilled to renew our relationships with so many terrific people, outstanding cities and first-class venues.”
Contracts with venues that had multi-year agreements with the conference were restructured and extended a year to compensate for events that were moved in 2016-17, according to the release.
The ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament schedule for the next three years remains in place. The 2018 event is slated at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, then Charlotte’s Spectrum Center in 2019 and the Greensboro Coliseum in 2020.
Details of ACC championship events scheduled to return to the state of North Carolina are as follows:
The conference, in partnership with the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Sports Foundation and Visit Charlotte, announced that the 2017 Dr Pepper ACC Championship Football Game will return to Bank of America Stadium and will be played on Saturday, December 2. The ACC’s agreement to hold the game at the Charlotte venue, originally set to run through 2019, has been extended through 2020. The Dr Pepper ACC Championship Football Game has been a sellout in three of the six years it has been played in Charlotte. The 2015 game between Clemson and North Carolina attracted 74,514 fans, setting a Bank of America Stadium attendance record.
The ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held at the Greensboro Coliseum, for the 18th time in 19 years, on February 28-March 4, 2018. The Coliseum, with assistance from the Tournament Hosts of Greensboro, Greensboro Sports Commission and Convention and Visitors Bureau, is now set to play host to the tournament through 2023. Every attendance record for the 40-year-old tournament has been set at the Greensboro Coliseum, including the overall attendance mark of 73,187 in 2009. Overall attendance at the Greensboro Coliseum has exceeded 60,000 eight times since 2006.
The ACC Baseball Championship will extend its current agreement with Capitol Broadcasting and the Triangle Sports Commission, returning to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in 2018 and 2019. The 2018 ACC Baseball Championship is scheduled for May 22-27. Three of the ACC Baseball Championship’s 10 largest overall attendance figures have been posted at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The stadium also owns the attendance record for the largest single-game crowd (11,329 for NC State versus North Carolina in 2013) and the largest crowd for a championship game (9,759 for Florida State versus NC State in 2015).
Swimming & Diving
The 2018 ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving and Men’s Diving Championships will be held February 14-17 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center, while the ACC Men’s Swimming Championship is set for February 21-24. The GAC is now set to host those events through 2023, with assistance from the Greensboro Sports Commission.
The ACC Men’s Golf Championship will return to New London’s Old North State Club on April 20-22, 2018. McConnell Golf is contracted for the event through 2021. The course has welcomed the ACC Men’s Golf Championship 20 times since 1995, including 15 consecutive years from 2002 through 2016.
The ACC Women’s Golf Championship will return to Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club (Ross Course) on April 20-22, 2018. McConnell Golf is contracted for the event through 2021, with assistance from the Greensboro Sports Commission. Greensboro has welcomed the ACC Women’s Golf Championship on 12 previous occasions, including eight consecutive years at Sedgefield from 2009 through 2016.
Men’s and Women’s Tennis
The ACC Tennis Championships will return to Cary Tennis Park on April 25-29, 2018. The venue has been the site of the league’s tennis championships 11 times since 2005, including eight consecutive seasons from 2009 through 2016.
The semifinals and finals of the ACC Women’s Soccer Championship will return to Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in 2018. The Town of Cary, along with the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and North Carolina FC Youth (formerly Capital Area Soccer League), is set to host tournament play November 2 and 4 of that year. Cary has played host to all or part of the ACC Women’s Soccer Championship 11 times since 2003, including six consecutive seasons from 2008 through 2013.