Over a hundred people had already gathered in front of the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts marquee for the Downtown Tournament Town Watch Party around noon on Thursday, March 12, when the announcement was made that the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Men’s Basketball Tournament was cancelled.

With the earlier announcement that no fans would be allowed in the Greensboro Coliseum to watch the ACC basketball games, some were predicting a large crowd, particularly when Duke and NC State were scheduled to play at 2:30 p.m.

But the announcement by ACC Commissioner John Swofford that no games would be played and that Florida State University was being declared the ACC champion, by virtue of winning the regular season, took the wind of the sails of the event and the crowd immediately started dwindling.

President of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Brent Christensen went to the stage to make the official announcement that the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament had been cancelled. He noted that this was going to be a big hit to the hospitality industry in Greensboro and said, “Go out and eat this weekend, and if you’re worried about being around other people, get take out.”

He asked people to support our local businesses who were counting on a significant increase in sales during the three weeks of basketball tournaments.

Later Christensen said, “The hospitality industry has been planning for these three weeks for years. There is no doubt this is going to have a serious impact on them.”

DGI is planning on holding its Tournament Town Downtown Festival on Saturday, March 14 from noon to 9 p.m. on South Elm Street near the railroad tracks. But at the rate events are being canceled, it doesn’t look like any event is a sure thing.