NC budget includes $15M to keep ACC headquarters in state for at least 15 more years

·2 min read
Jared C. Tilton/TNS

A budget proposal released by Republicans on Tuesday includes $15 million for the Atlantic Coast Conference to keep its headquarters in North Carolina for at least the next 15 years.

To qualify for the money, the ACC must hold within the next 10 years at least four men’s basketball championships, four women’s basketball championships and four men’s baseball championships in the state in addition to any already scheduled in North Carolina.

Tuesday’s budget proposal is the first look into what the state would be willing to give the organization to stay in North Carolina.

The legislation does not specify or recommend which city the ACC decides to locate its headquarters, so long as it remains in the state. Since the organization’s founding in 1953, it has been headquartered in Greensboro.

ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips announced last August that the conference would consider relocating from Greensboro in a letter sent to members. He wrote that the ACC had a “fiduciary responsibility to ensure that remaining headquartered in Greensboro is what is in the best long-term interests of the Conference.”

The News & Observer reported in April that Charlotte and Orlando, Fla., had emerged as the ACC’s top choices for relocation from its Greensboro headquarters.

Staff from Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger’s office said that the ACC approached the state to request the legislation and that the $15 million price tag is based on the expected cost of the events the group would be required to hold.

The ACC is not referred to by name in the proposal, but rather named as a “qualifying collegiate sports employer,” that has “four charter members that are institutions of higher education in the State.”

Berger’s staff confirmed that the legislation refers to the ACC.

When the ACC was established, it included Duke, UNC, N.C. State and Wake Forest as founding members.

Staff from Berger’s office said they had not been given a timeline from the ACC on when to expect a decision.