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'I’m hopeful' | Greensboro continues push to keep ACC at home as league wraps up spring meetings

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan was in Florida this week as the Atlantic Coast Conference discussed the future of it's conference office and location.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A decision from the Atlantic Coast Conference about where the organization will lock in its headquarters could come in the next few weeks, according to Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan. 

Vaughan was in Florida this week as the ACC held its spring meetings. One of the topics discussed: where the future headquarters will be. 

"They had behind closed door discussions with the chancellors and presidents, not only about the real estate, where they're going to stay but overall governance of the ACC, and we haven’t really gotten direct feedback from that. I have heard they are going to make a decision in the next 3 to 4 weeks," said Mayor Vaughan. 

A press release from the ACC doesn't outline specifics about where the conference stands with discussions on possible locations for its office, but Commissioner Jim Phillips said the talks are productive.

“We continue to have tremendous dialogue among our membership regarding the state of college athletics and the challenges we’re collectively facing,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “Our responsibility remains with the nearly 10,000 amazing student-athletes that we are proud to represent. We had the opportunity to hear from some of our student-athletes at these meetings, and their ongoing feedback is central to the evolution of college athletics.”

Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston confirmed to WFMY News 2 back in April that the ACC was looking at Charlotte and Orlando in addition to Greensboro as possible headquarters locations.

While Mayor Vaughan said it's not clear if any of those cities have been ruled out, she feels that Greensboro has made a strong case for why the ACC should stay put.

"I will say that at the meetings, Greensboro was there in force. I didn’t see anyone from Orlando and I think there was only one person from Charlotte. It was a great opportunity to get down there and network and to let people know how important the ACC is to Greensboro, not only the headquarters but the future of the men’s tournament and staying in the rotation," she said.

Conversations about relocating the ACC's headquarters started last year. Mayor Vaughan said Commissioner Phillips wanted to do a 'full holistic assessment' of the organization after he was hired, going beyond just discussing its location of it.

"We had hoped we’d have a decision by November but that decision has continued to get delayed. I believe that shows how strong our proposals have been," she said. 

Mayor Vaughan's father, Fred Barakat, was an associate commissioner with the ACC for years. 

"I love the brand, I love the schools, I think ACC sports are some of the most exciting in the country and I think there are a lot of people in Greensboro who feel the same way," said Mayor Vaughan. 

Vaughan said even if the ACC decides to move its headquarters, that will not have an impact on tournaments being held in the city, and she expects the city will keep its strong relationship with the conference. 

"They’ve been very specific to say that those are two separate items and they really didn’t want to comingle them so again as I said I think regardless we’re going to have a long term relationship with the acc based on the investments that we have made In our aquatics center, in our coliseum and other facilities throughout Greensboro," she said. 

Vaughan said a decision is expected in the next few weeks.

"I’m hopeful that they would stay," she said, "We also have to keep in perspective we’re not talking about a huge number of jobs, we’ve had great jobs announcements in the recent past we’ll continue to have them in the near future. While we certainly hope that it's going to go our way we’ll do what Greensboro's always done we’ll dust it off and move forward."

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