The ACC has finalized the selection of host cities and venues for eight of its 2016-17 league championships. Due to North Carolina's discriminatory state law, the league announced earlier last month that it would be moving eight championship events that were previously scheduled to be held in the state. On Tuesday, the ACC announced the new sites for those games.
Here's the new list of cities, according to the ACC's official release.
- ACC Women's Soccer Championship, Nov. 4 & 6 - MUSC Health Stadium; Charleston, South Carolina
- ACC Women's Swimming & Diving/Men's Diving Championships, Feb. 13-16 (change from original date) - Georgia Tech Aquatics Center; Atlanta, Georgia
- ACC Men's Swimming Championship, Feb. 27-March 2 (change from original date) - Georgia Tech Aquatics Center; Atlanta, Georgia
- ACC Women's Golf Championship, April 13-15 (change from original date) - The Reserve Golf Club; Pawley's Island, South Carolina
- ACC Men's Golf Championship, April 21-23 - Musgrove Mill Golf Club; Clinton, South Carolina
- ACC Men's & Women's Tennis Championships, April 26-30 - Rome Tennis Center at Berry College; Rome, Georgia
- ACC Baseball Championship, May 23-28 - Louisville Slugger Field; Louisville, Kentucky
The ACC will hold its football title game this December in Orlando, the league announced on Sept. 29.
For years, the event’s been held in Charlotte, N.C. But the conference shipped the game out of North Carolina after the state enacted a law that discriminates in myriad ways against the LGBTQ community.
SB Nation's Steven Godfrey reported earlier Wednesday that Orlando was the frontrunner to land the game. And that's significant, in light of the horrific shooting at a gay Orlando nightclub in June.
If Camping World Stadium lands the ACC Championship, this could be a chance for the ACC and college football to recognize a LGBTQ community it's all but ignored for decades. Charlotte lost the game months after North Carolina's legislature passed the HB2 bill, which legalized discrimination against LGBTQ people and mandated transgender people use public facilities per their birth sex. Orlando is the site of a June 12 mass shooting that killed 49 people and wounded 53 at a gay nightclub.
To some in college football, those are two isolated incidents. For some others, the location is impossible to ignore.
Orlando made immediate sense as an alternative destination. The city is well within the ACC’s geographic footprint, and Camping World Stadium – the site of the Citrus Bowl and this year’s Week 1 game between Florida State and Ole Miss – is an undoubtedly suitable venue. Here’s our Morgan Moriarty, a Floridian, explaining:
It doesn’t hurt that Orlando has warm weather, popular theme parks, and nearby beaches that make the games more attractive to fans experiencing winter conditions elsewhere in ACC country. It makes sense for fans to want to travel to a place like Orlando, which has a lot of other things to do.
Also, since it seems likely at least one division champion will be from the South — Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville are the conference’s highest-ranked teams, though all are in the same division — having a game in Central Florida could go over more smoothly than a game in a colder area.
The stadium’s fine (and recently renovated). The city’s great. It’s an easy travel destination.
There were high school games scheduled at Camping World Stadium for the weekend of Dec. 3, but that wasn’t an insurmountable obstacle. A Florida High School Sports Association spokesman gave us this statement just a few weeks ago:
The Florida High School Athletic Association has a contract with the Central Florida Sports Commission for the first two weekends in December to host the FHSAA High School Football State Championships. Moving the game to accommodate the ACC Championship would require a written agreement by both the CFSC and the FHSAA. As of Wednesday night, we have yet to be contacted by them regarding any changes to that contract.
Clearly, this didn't stop the ACC, and now the league's found a workable solution to a problem of North Carolina's making.