Statement on Tonight's NCAA Announcement
Sunday, September 11, 2016, 8pm
Statement from Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, on tonight’s NCAA announcement:
“This news is incredibly disappointing. In Cary alone, we are talking about four NCAA championships this academic year. Those events were expected to generate approximately 5,300 hotel room nights and more than $2 million in direct visitor spending. College sports is one of our region’s most important economic drivers, if not the most important, so this is a significant hit. It’s a tremendous loss, and not just economically.
“Cary’s reputation as an NCAA championship site is impeccable. Cary and its host partners do as good a job as any destination in the country at hosting NCAA events. They roll out the red-carpet for the student-athletes and give everyone, including all of our visitors, a first-class experience. I hate it for the Town that these championships have been pulled. NCAA events are a central component of Cary’s well-earned national brand as a sports destination and championship city.
“It will also be unfortunate for the student-athletes. It will be difficult for the NCAA to relocate the Women’s College Cup, for example, with less than three months notice and provide an electric environment similar to what the student-athletes enjoyed in Cary last year, with sellout crowds and more than 25,000 tickets sold.
“Regarding the NCAA’s current bid process that is already underway for 2018-19 through 2021-22. It’s too early to know how the NCAA’s decision today might impact future site selections. However, we are appreciative that the NCAA has decided to push back the decision-making timeframe from December 2016 to next year.”