ACC moves football title game to Orlando after leaving North Carolina
North Carolina's HB2 law has led to the ACC and NCAA moving events out of the state
Update: The ACC officially announced Orlando as the host for the 2016 ACC Football Championship Game on Thursday morning. According to the league, patrons who previously purchased tickets to this year's game in Charlotte and all Florida Citrus Sports members will have a three-day pre-sale opportunity on Oct. 5. Tickets will be available to the general public on Oct. 10.
The ACC on Sept. 14 joined the NCAA, NBA and other organizations in pulling official league events out of the state of North Carolina due to concerns over the state's House Bill 2, which is considered by many to be anti-LGBT. The conference moved a total of eight neutral-site championship events from the state, the biggest of which has now found a new home.
The 2016 ACC Football Championship Game will now be played in Orlando, Florida, at Camping World Stadium, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy. Camping World Stadium is the new name of the renovated Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is set for the evening of Saturday, Dec. 3.
The game was originally scheduled to be held in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium.
ACC football title game moved to Orlando's Camping World Stadium, sources told @ESPN. Kickoff is Dec. 3 at 7:45 p.m. (ESPN) or 8 p.m. (ABC)— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) September 29, 2016
"As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values ... We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year," explained the ACC Council of Presidents two weeks ago.
Commissioner John Swofford said the decision was "one of principle" because "opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount."
The other seven neutral site championship events looking for new homes include women's soccer, men's and women's swimming, women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, women's golf, men's golf and baseball.
The current deal between the ACC and Bank of America Stadium for the football championship runs through 2019. As of now, the only game impacted by the move is 2016.
Earlier in September, the NCAA announced the planned relocation of seven championships due to concerns about the state's bathroom law. The NCAA, which has previously pulled its championships from other states for various reasons, cited four problematic aspects of North Carolina's current laws, including HB2.
"North Carolina has the only statewide law that makes it unlawful to use a restroom different from the gender of one's birth certificate, regardless of gender identity," the Board of Governors stressed in its announcement.
The law, which Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski called "embarrassing," has also led to non-sports cancellations, including concerts featuring Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam. New York and Minnesota are among the states that have mandates against "non-essential" travel to North Carolina. Albany and Vermont have both canceled nonconference sporting in events in the state as well.
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