The North Carolina legislature announced it had reached an agreement on a $27.9 billion budget on Tuesday, June 28.
However, it is $15 million of that $27.9 billion that has Greensboro in a tizzy.
It appears that the proposed budget which still has to be passed by the state House and state Senate and then signed by Gov. Roy Cooper, has allocated $15 million to keep the headquarters of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in North Carolina.
Reports indicate that the two front runners for the ACC headquarters were Charlotte and Orlando. Noticeably missing from that short list is Greensboro.
The ACC was formed at a meeting in 1953 at the Sedgefield Inn and the headquarters has been in Greensboro ever since. The current ACC headquarters is at Grandover. The ACC has about 50 employees, so it’s not about jobs but about the prestige of having one of the premier college athletic leagues headquartered in Greensboro.
The ACC announced in October that it was contemplating moving the headquarters and that a number of factors would be considered including population size and positive growth trends, access to a large hub airport, benefits to the overall ACC brand and operational expenses.
None of those factors bode well for Greensboro.
The Charlotte airport is an American Airlines hub and has many more direct flights than the Piedmont Triad International Airport.
Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) reportedly confirmed that the bill was for the ACC headquarters to move to Charlotte. Saine told WRAL News, “We just want to make sure that we keep it here. You grow up in the state, one, it’s sentimental, but two, from an economic development standpoint from what we attract as far as future tournaments and where they’re going to be played, if their headquartered in this state, we’re far better off. Hate to get competing between two cities, but the reality is some cities have more of what they need right now.”
The budget doesn’t actually name the ACC or Charlotte.
Greensboro has lobbied hard to keep the ACC headquarters here and according to Mayor Nancy Vaughan, who attended the ACC spring meetings in May, Greensboro offered a competitive package and received positive feedback.
The final decision on the location of the ACC headquarters will be made by the 15 member ACC board of directors and so far no vote has been taken.