North Carolina

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Already Reeling from ACC Withdrawal, Charlotte Takes Another Hit

5 Oct, 2016

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

Already reeling after the removal of ACC events, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been dealt another blow.

The controversial shooting by police of an African-American man on September 20 resulted in at times violent protests in the city, and led to the enforcement of a temporary curfew being placed on the city. (A timeline of the events regarding the shooting can be found in this newspaper article.)

That resulted in the cancellation of a number of events, all of which had been designed to bring tourists into the beleaguered city.

The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, notes Laura White, director of communications, has been attempting to meet the needs of the hospitality and tourism sector.

"We’re trying to focus on the immediate needs of events coming in and events coming up on the horizon," White notes.

CRVA has created a special landing page on its website to keep visitors informed and updated, adds White, since "we really wanted people to be able to get all the facts as soon as they were available."

The American Heart Association cancelled a major fundraising walk and fun run that had been scheduled for uptown Charlotte. The event, which had been expected to bring more than 15,000 people into the area, may not be rescheduled.

The Charlotte Knights cancelled its Family Movie Night; the team noted it would release a new schedule for the event as soon as possible.

The Charlotte Hornets Team Store received heavy damage during the more violent protests and remained closed while clean-up began in other areas of the city.

Despite the fact that protests planned to march in the area around Bank of America Stadium, however, the Panthers game on Sunday, September 25 went on as planned.

White noted that one meeting (non-sports-related) also has postponed its plans to be in Charlotte; however, "we're hoping we can still host that group at a later date. Those are the conversations we've been having for now."

Prior to the shooting, Charlotte was trying to find its footing following the removal of the ACC Championship football game, a reaction to HB2. The city had previously gone to great lengths to show its support for the LGBT community. According to an article in USA TODAY, Charlotte created a non-discrimination ordinance in February that prevents a “business that provides a public accommodation from discriminating against a patron or customer based on one or more of that person’s protected characteristics. Those protected characteristics are: race, color, religion, sex, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and national origin,” according to the city of Charlotte.

That ordinance was overturned by HB2, leading to the series of withdrawals from North Carolina by the ACC and NCAA.

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