MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Atlantic Coast Conference recently announced it would be pulling several sporting events from North Carolina due to the controversy surrounding the HB2 bill.
Now, Myrtle Beach officials are extending an invitation to bring those events to the Grand Strand.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans General Manager Andy Milovich said TicketReturn.com Field would be a perfect place for the ACC baseball tournament next year, which is now looking for a new home.
After making its bid for the ACC baseball tournament back in 2009, Myrtle Beach announced it would host the event for three years starting in 2011. However, after the NAACP's boycott of South Carolina over the state's flying of the confederate flag, the offer was taken off the table.
"That is no longer an issue. So the ACC hopefully will take a look at us again." said Mark Kruea, spokesperson for Myrtle Beach.
City leaders said with so many ACC championships now up for grabs, they would like to bring some of them to the Grand Strand. Two that make sense would be men's and women's golf.
"With the wide number of golf courses here, the very high quality golf courses in the area, I would imagine that we could find a way to do an ACC for golf." Kruea said.
Bill Golden, with Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, said he is absolutely interested in bringing college golf to the Grand Strand and believes the area has the right courses to do it.
With recent upgrades going into other facilities like Doug Shaw Stadium as well as the large seating at TicketReturn.com field, other events like soccer and baseball could work too.
"The infrastructure is in place with the Pelicans, Coastal Carolina and other people throughout the community to jump in and help bring the events to the community." Milovich said.
Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce released a statement Thursday on the issue:
"Having experienced the effects of a boycott, we empathize with our neighbors in North Carolina. No community can afford to lose such high profile events under any circumstances. However, the decision has obviously created an opportunity for our state, so we're certainly not opposed to pitching Myrtle Beach as a contender for at least some of those championships. It would be premature to go beyond that we have simply just expressed interest."
Read below for the official statement from the ACC Council of Presidents regarding the decision to pull the tournaments from N.C.:
"As members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC Council of Presidents reaffirmed our collective commitment to uphold the values of equality, diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination. Every one of our 15 universities is strongly committed to these values and therefore, we will continue to host ACC Championships at campus sites. We believe North Carolina House Bill 2 is inconsistent with these values, and as a result, we will relocate all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year. All locations will be announced in the future from the conference office."
- Women’s soccer
- Men’s and women’s swimming and diving
- Women’s Basketball
- Men’s and women’s tennis
- Women’s golf
- Men’s golf