Time for state leaders to cut losses

Published 4:23 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Republican and democratic leaders in North Carolina have been working toward a remedy for House Bill 2. They’re pressed up against the wall. The Associated Press reported earlier this week that HB2 will cost the state $3.76 billion in economic losses.

That number will only climb should the NCAA opt to take more championships away from North Carolina. The league has already removed all sorts of scheduled championship events, and the Atlantic Coast Conference chose to relocate last month’s basketball tournament from Greensboro to South Carolina.

The NBA was another notable league to move an event from the state. Charlotte was set to host the All-Star game this season. It was going to be a homecoming of sorts for league MVP Steph Curry, a North Carolina native whose contract with Golden State is coming to an end. Instead, HB2 led the NBA to move the weekend festivities to New Orleans.

Lawmakers have been given an ultimatum. Raleigh Sports Alliance executive director Scott Dupree told the Charlotte Observer that time is running out to find a resolution for HB2.

“If HB2 has not been resolved by (Thursday), the NCAA will have no choice but to move forward without the North Carolina bids,” he said. “Now it must finalize all championship site selections through spring of 2022.”

The state’s losses have been piling up for months. It’s been a long time coming for North Carolina’s political leaders to cut their losses and either repeal this law or amend it, and now they’ve been given an ultimatum.

No matter one’s stance on the law colloquially known as the “bathroom bill,” the numbers don’t lie. The economic losses are staggering. Basketball is the backbone of this state’s sports culture, but fans of all different sports are losing marquee events all across the state.

Something is going to have to happen by today, and it’s going to have an impact on North Carolina for many years down the road.