Greenville picks up sports tournaments after HB2 repeal

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) — HB2 made it hard for a lot of cities in our state to recruit new businesses, especially sporting events and Greenville was no different. Now close to a month after the bill’s repeal, 9 On Your Side checked in with area tourism officials to see how things are going—post bathroom bill.

Sports play a big role in people’s lives and an even bigger role in Greenville’s economy.

“Last year it brought in about 6.3 million dollars,” Greenville’s Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Andrew Schmidt said.

While the city is on its way up in that department, 2016 didn’t come without a road block.

HB2, North Carolina’s bathroom bill wasn’t received well by a lot of organizations and tournaments

“HB2 definitely made it a little harder to attract some of the tournaments here,” Schmidt said.

Now, almost a month after parts of the law was repealed some of that lost revenue is on its way back.

Schmidt said, “Luckily since the repeal we’ve had a very good response of people willing to talk to us again.”

It’s too early to tell how everything will pan out, but Schmidt says conversations are happening and everybody has to start somewhere.

“We just got off a conversation with a golf tournament director of national scope, that had actually pulled out of North Carolina and has now said okay now that’s it’s repealed we’ll look at coming back,” Schmidt said.

The goal moving forward is the same thing it’s always been, bring more sports to Greenville.

Schmidt says the repeal wasn’t good enough for everyone. Some organizations say they still don’t want to do business in North Carolina.

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