The Grand Strand will be the site of two Atlantic Coast Conference collegiate championships this school year.
On Wednesday, the conference announced the 2017 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held March 1-5 at the HTC Center on the campus of Coastal Carolina University.
Last week, the conference announced its 2017 54-hole women’s golf championship will be held at the private Reserve Club in Pawleys Island, likely from April 13-15.
The ACC said it would move 10 neutral-site championships out of North Carolina because of the state’s passing of House Bill 2, which many believe restricts the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
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The women’s hoops tournament was the final event to find a new home for 2016-17.
This season's football championship game was moved from Charlotte to Orlando, Fla.
CCU athletic director Matt Hogue said the contract to host the ACC women’s tournament is one year, and the schedule permitted it in 2017.
The CCU men’s and women’s basketball teams complete their seasons that week, but each have just one game on the road at Appalachian State. They will participate for the first year in the Sun Belt Conference basketball tournaments the next week in New Orleans.
The HTC Center accommodates more than 3,600 spectators.
“I think right now no one is really looking past this year because of the unusual circumstances,” Hogue said. “We were in position with the destination and facility we have on campus … to fill a need they had for this year. Certainly moving forward the logistics would make it hard. Fortunately the schedule worked out this year.”
I think right now no one is really looking past this year because of the unusual circumstances. We were in position with the destination and facility we have on campus … to fill a need they had for this year. Certainly moving forward the logistics would make it hard. Fortunately the schedule worked out this year.
CCU athletic director Matt Hogue
The HB2 law was passed in response to a Charlotte ordinance that extended anti-discrimination protections to the LGBT community and would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom or locker room of the gender with which they identify.
In response to the law, the NCAA also pulled several championship events from the state last month, including the first- and second-round men’s basketball tournament games scheduled for Greensboro.
The ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament will make its seventh appearance in South Carolina and its first since a five-year run in Rock Hill from 1992-96.
This year’s tournament will feature all 15 league teams, and play opens with three first-round games on March 1.
The first three days of the tournament through the quarterfinals are set to be carried by the ACC Network. Saturday afternoon semifinal games at noon and 2:30 p.m. will be carried by ESPNU, and a 1 p.m. Sunday championship game is scheduled to air on ESPN2.
The ACC women’s tournament is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and the ACC Network will unveil the All-ACC Women’s Tournament Team from the last 40 years during the tournament in Conway.
Hogue said the university worked with the Myrtle Beach Regional Sports Alliance and Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to bring the tournament to the area.
“We are deeply indebted to Coastal Carolina University for stepping forward to host this event, helping to elevate our national appeal as a thriving contender for high-profile sporting events,” Chamber president and CEO Brad Dean said in a statement.