In light of the newest assault by the religious right, the conservative wingnuts, and the GOP, against civil rights protections based on sexual orientation, the NCAA is said to be reconsidering sites already chosen to host its championships … including Indianapolis.
“We’ll continue to review current events in all cities bidding on NCAA championships and events, as well as cities that have already been named as future host sites, such as Indianapolis.” — Bob Williams, NCAA senior vice president for communications
So, if this move happens, it might put an end to Indianapolis being the site of the men’s basketball Final Four — set to return to the city in 2021. And that could spell huge economic losses for the city; when the same event was held there this year it pumped an estimated $71 million into the local economy.
Ouch. Indianapolis is also scheduled to host first- and second-round games in the 2017 men’s basketball tournament though that also may not happen.
That NCAA decision comes on the heels of the vote in Houston earlier this month to repeal an ordinance that banned discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, and so the NCAA is rethinking allowing Houston to host any events as well, though the already scheduled 2016 men’s Final Four will take place there because of the advanced planning and scheduling needed for such an event. Likewise, the women’s Final Four in Indianapolis will go on as planned in April.
Things can change, though; there is hope that the Indiana state Senate may actually pass an LGBT-inclusive anti-discrimination bill, and therefore successfully dodge that economic bullet. And hopefully Houston will get the message, too, that hate literally does not pay.