Louisville looks to take advantage of North Carolina losing ACC and NCAA championships
Louisville plans to place bids on NCAA soccer, volleyball and basketball games.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville is hoping to take full advantage of North Carolina losing its ACC and NCAA Championship games that will be relocated because of a controversial transgender law.
Just two days after the NCAA made that decision on Monday, the ACC followed suit. They said a bathroom law in North Carolina is discriminatory against transgender people. Louisville is now hoping to pick up on some of those games the state lost.
“We immediately contacted the NCAA to inquire about what's going to be available and what's the process,” said Karl Schmitt, President and CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission.
Schmitt said when the NCAA decided to pull seven championship games out of North Carolina, it created an opportunity for Louisville.
“We immediately went into the mode of getting aggressive of what we could host,” Schmitt said.
Bidding for the NCAA games opened Tuesday. Schmitt suspects about 20 cities will be vying for the championship games. Louisville plans on bidding for Men's and Women's Division III Soccer, Women's Division I Volleyball, and Men's first and second round Division I Basketball. However, having venues available and enough hotel rooms is the biggest obstacle.
Schmitt added Louisville has a strong relationship with the NCAA.
“We've hosted more NCAA championships in the last 10 years than any city in America,” he said.
Along with the NCAA, the ACC is also pulling its championship games out of North Carolina. At issue is a bathroom law that is seen as discriminatory against transgender people.
“It tells a transgender woman that she has to use a men's bathroom, which creates a disruption and makes her vulnerable and a target in that type of environment,” said Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign.
The law requires transgender men and women to use bathrooms in schools and state government buildings that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate.
Officials with both the NCAA and ACC say the move out of North Carolina was based on principal because they cannot support discrimination.
“The NCAA knows we're a good partner. They know that the city of Louisville and the community and the universities will put on a terrific event for their student athletes and we're willing to help if they're in a jam. We want to help,” Schmitt said.
As for picking up some ACC championship games, the University of Louisville said it is still looking into the possibilities.
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