GREENSBORO, NC – The City of Greensboro is expected to miss out on big money a result of the NCAA cancelling all sports championships in North Carolina due to HB2.
City leaders estimate that Greensboro will miss out on $17 million in the next year due to the loss of the NCAA men’s basketball, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer championships.
That $17 million is an estimate of the money that would be spent in Greensboro hotels, restaurants, gas stations, shops and stores.
Karen Grissom, General Manager of the Hampton Inn and Suites on Gate City Blvd. near the Greensboro Coliseum, says this decision is a devastating blow for business.
"We will be missing out on a lot of revenue that these championships and tournaments bring in,” said Grissom. “We are counting on them and we have budgeted for them this year so trying to make up for that revenue is going to be very interesting."
The Hampton Inn and Suites near the Greensboro Coliseum has already booked 15% of their rooms for the weekend that the NCAA men's basketball tournament was scheduled to come to town.
Grissom says they're going to miss out on $70,000 for that tournament alone!
“It's very frustrating because I know these teams, all they want to do is play and the revenue impact for our area is going to be very devastating,” said Grissom.
But it’s not just the hotels who will be challenged to create revenue in other places.
Kim Strable, Director of the Greensboro Sports Commission, says the city itself is taking a pretty big hit.
"We were looking forward to another great year of having them (NCAA) in town. But it's part of business. We understand that. We couldn't be more disappointed to be perfectly honest,” said Strable. “It's a big setback. But we roll on. That's what we do in tournament town!"
Strable says there's no one way that the city can "make-up" for losing the NCAA championship events.
He says they're just going to have to continue to network with new sports entertainment companies.
In fact, Strable is currently at a convention in Kansas City -- trying to recruit new sporting events to come to Greensboro.
"A lot of these are new events that we have not had in Greensboro before,” said Strable. “So we are really trying to target some of those especially at times when our hotels have more vacancy. It's a bit of a matching game. We try to look at what their needs are and see if we are a good fit for that."
Strable says the city wants to maintain its relationship with the NCAA, regardless of what happens from here.
Strable says it's nothing personal and will continue to work with the NCAA for business.
Greensboro has submitted bids for 55 NCAA championship events in the next 5 years with an estimated $148 million in economic impact for the city.
Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan says she was very “disappointed” by the NCAA decision and she hopes lawmakers will “fix it.”
(© 2016 WFMY)