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Charlotte one step closer to hosting ACC Football Championship, again

The Atlantic Coast Conference’s Council of Presidents voted on Friday the state of North Carolina will be considered for hosting future ACC Championships.

The ACC officially released a one line sentence announcing the presidents’ vote on the situation.

The presidents’ vote comes a day after the North Carolina Governor Ray Cooper signed a new bill repealing the state’s House Bill 2 law. HB2, as it became known as, altered protections for members of the LGBT community, including requiring transgender people in public buildings to use the bathroom of their biological sex.

The NCAA said on Thursday it will wait to vote next week on whether it plans to return its championships to the Tar Heel State.

Friday’s vote by the ACC’s Council of Presidents is a strong indication the league is leaning towards returning the ACC Football Championship Game back to Charlotte for the 2017 season. Last year, because of HB2, the ACC followed the NCAA’s ban of not allowing the state of North Carolina to host any neutral site championships, including the ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte where it had been a huge success.

The 2016 ACC Football Championship Game was moved from Charlotte to Orlando, Fla., where it generated the smallest crowd, 50,628, to watch an ACC Championship Game since it began playing a title game in 2005. Clemson beat Virginia Tech, 42-35, to win its second straight conference title on its way to the national championship.

In a statement released to The Clemson Insider on Friday morning, ACC Commissioner John Swofford says the league will reopen discussions to move its future neutral championships back to North Carolina.

“The recently passed legislation allows the opportunity to reopen the discussion with the ACC Council of Presidents regarding neutral site conference championships being held in the state of North Carolina,” he said. “This discussion will take place in the near future, and following any decisions by the ACC Council of Presidents, announcements will be forthcoming.”

The ACC is scheduled to have its annual spring meetings in May, but a decision or announcement about the ACC Football Championship Game could come before those meetings as the conference would like to give the hosting city and venue plenty of opportunity to prepare for and promote the game.

Clemson, which dominated the attendance in the 2016 Championship Game, was part of a record crowd of 74,514 in the 2015 ACC Championship Game at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, a game in which the Tigers beat North Carolina 45-37. The Clemson fan base nearly tripled that of the North Carolina fan base.

Clemson was also a part of the second largest crowd to watch an ACC Championship Game when the Tigers beat Virginia Tech in front of a crowd of 73,675 at Bank of America Stadium in 2011.

 

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