Raleigh conventions in limbo after HB2 ruling
Posted March 25, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — House Bill 2 is generating national and international conversation, and much of the discussions are about the potential economic fallout for North Carolina.
One day after a demonstration took place in front of the governor’s mansion in downtown Raleigh, the Raleigh Convention Center fielded calls from groups scheduled to hold conventions, including a software convention from Canada and organizers of the Animazement convention, slated for Memorial Day weekend.
The groups voiced concern over whether their convention goers will be welcomed in North Carolina.
Officials with the Raleigh Convention Center told WRAL News that they have reassured the groups that everything will be done to accommodate anyone attending the conventions.
"I'm concerned about the impact this could potentially have on sports tourism in the region, but there are a lot of unknowns at this point and we will be monitoring the situation closely,” said Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Hill Carrow, CEO of the Triangle Sports Commission, said it’s too early in the process to assess implications.
“The fact that the NBA is questioning keeping the All-Star Game in Charlotte and ESPN is expressing national concerns about the impacts of the legislation, is cause for concern, particular if the bill, in practice or simply by perception, is seen as positioning North Carolina as anything other than a very welcoming state to all people,” he said.
Raleigh Convention Center officials said they have not yet lost any scheduled conventions.