ACC considering its options for new home city

ACC considering its options for new home city


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a statement days before Halloween, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced it would consider and evaluate new cities to call home.

 

What You Need To Know

The ACC said in a late October statement it would evaluate new home cities, as well as remaining in Greensboro

Charlotte would fit the criteria spelled out by the conference for consideration

Charlotte business says more ACC events and permanent league offices would be good for business

 

Later in the statement, the league laid out specific criteria it would use to consider other home cities. 

The ACC, which has been based in Greensboro for nearly 70 years, has 15 member schools across the eastern United States, including five in the Carolinas.

In the statement, the conference said, “As part of the ongoing Atlantic Coast Conference comprehensive review and assessments, the league’s 15-member Board of Directors today [Oct 26] announced its decision to expand the evaluation of the conference office location to include cities beyond Greensboro.”

Later in the statement, the league laid out specific criteria it would use to consider other home cities. 

The criteria included:

  • Located within the Eastern Time Zone
  • Population size with positive growth trends
  • Growth and diversity of population
  • Access to a large hub airport with effective accessibility to and from all ACC member schools
  • Anticipated benefit to the overall ACC brand and potential synergies to existing and prospective partners
  • Financial considerations related to operational expenses

All of which would appear to apply to the city of Charlotte, a rumored potential landing spot for the ACC’s league offices.

However, the ACC’s statement said the city of Greensboro would remain in consideration, along with any new cities.

“Greensboro has been our proud home for almost 70 years and will be given thorough consideration to remain so for years to come. We continue to appreciate Newmark and Weiberg Consultants work on this very important process,” Duke President Vince Price said in the statement from the league. 

Meanwhile, at least one Charlotte business close to the city’s sporting venues is hopeful the ACC moves to town.

“I mean instead of having just one event, them bringing the whole — the whole operation here I think it would be beneficiary to Uptown Charlotte,” George Photopoulos said. 

Photopoulos is the manager of the The French Quarter restaurant on Church Street in Uptown, located just a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium and Truist Field. 

Photopoulos said the city’s major sporting events are good for business.

“We had [the] Georgia-Clemson game, that was one of the busiest days we’ve ever had,” Photopoulos said, referencing a college football game held in Charlotte earlier this fall.

He’s been managing the restaurant for more than 20 years, and said office employees account for 90% of their regular business. He said he hopes the ACC potentially moving to Uptown could create even more.

“They’ll be more frequent regulars coming in on a regular basis — would be huge. So, yeah that would be nice for them to bring the headquarters here,” Photopoulos added.

While the ACC’s future plans are still being determined and a move is not guaranteed, the conference has a long history with Charlotte.

The ACC’s football championship, set to return to Bank of America Stadium on December 4, has been held here 11 times in the last 12 years, starting in 2010.

In 2019, the Queen City also hosted the league’s basketball tournament for the first time since 2008. Since 2010, Greensboro has hosted the men’s tournament seven times. The women’s basketball tournament is being held in Greensboro in 2022 for the 22nd time in 23 years.

Charlotte is also attracting other ACC events to Uptown. In 2021, the city hosted the men’s baseball tournament for the first time since 2001.

“It really produced a shot in the arm for all of us, for the hotel, retail, visitors, coming to town and being able to expose our ballpark, Truist Field, to a whole new set of people,” Rob Egan said.

Egan is in his fifth year as general manager of the Charlotte Knights. He said hosting the tournament was a home run and brought in new people and faces to the entire area.

“To be able to see all the folks come out that did, over the course of that week, was extremely rewarding. Keeping in mind, that we hadn’t seen crowds that size really since 2019,” Egan said.

The tournament was held right as access to COVID-19 vaccines was becoming widespread earlier this year. In fact, Egan and his staff figured out capacity requirements with existing regulations just days before the tournament was set to start.

Despite the late notice, nearly 59,000 people came to Truist Field for the tournament, the fifth-highest attendance in league history and highest since 2015. It’s one of the reasons the ACC asked to come back next year.

“We certainly look forward to that. We look forward to many many more ACC baseball championship events here in the future,” Egan said.

2021 was the first time Truist Field ever held the tournament. In 2000 and 2001, the tournament was held at a different stadium in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Tickets are already on sale for the 2022 tournament and Egan is hopeful more time to prepare and get the word out will lead to even better attendance in 2022.

From the baseball diamond, to restaurants and bars, it’s an example of what could happen to Charlotte’s businesses and stadiums if the ACC decided to make the Queen City its new home.

In a brief email sent on her behalf, Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt said a potential ACC relocation to the city would be very exciting.



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