The Atlantic Coast Conference is relocating its headquarters but remaining in its home state of North Carolina.
The league announced Tuesday it would move its offices from Greensboro — the city where it was founded in 1953 — to downtown Charlotte in 2023. In a news release, the league said it will use the 2022-23 academic year as a transition period for the relocation.
The league had also considered remaining in Greensboro while commissioner Jim Phillips said Tuesday in a media call that the league also made multiple visits to Orlando, Florida. But the decision to remain in North Carolina positions the league to obtain $15 million in state funds, which were earmarked in the latest budget for a “collegiate sports employer” for building a new headquarters in the state.
“It really was not Greensboro or not Charlotte,” Phillips said of the state’s proposal. “It was really a commitment to stay in the state of North Carolina and (the league) select where would be best.
“I think that’s an important piece of information, that the state was incredibly neutral towards where the conference office would be located. It just did not want to see it leave the state.”
The league cited criteria in a review aided by an outside agency such as location within the Eastern time zone, population trends, access to a large hub airport for accessibility throughout the league’s 15-school footprint and financial considerations.
Phillips had been discussing the possibility since last year after taking over for the retiring John Swofford. At the ACC’s men’s basketball media day last October, Phillips had said the ACC’s school presidents and chancellors had inquired about the future of the league’s headquarters during his interview process.
At the time, Phillips said the options included remaining at the location along Interstate 85 outside of downtown Greensboro and near the Grandover Resort and Spa.
“This was not an easy decision for the board as we recognize the truly wonderful relationship we’ve had with Greensboro,” Duke president and board chair Vincent E. Price said. “But we are thrilled we are remaining in North Carolina.”
The league’s North Carolina roots had become a topic of discussion as the league has expanded in recent decades to 15 basketball members stretched along the entire Eastern seaboard and west into Kentucky and Indiana. Specifically with men’s basketball, the league has held its tournament in North Carolina in 54 of 69 years, including 28 in Greensboro and 13 in Charlotte.
More are coming considering the state budget provision that the league hold championship events for numerous sports in the state by the 2032-33 academic year. That includes four men’s basketball tournaments, with two of those slated for Greensboro beyond the one already scheduled there for the upcoming season.
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