How the “Bathroom Bill” Hurt North Carolina's Sports Economy

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By Sam Ellis, @sellis_apsm  (SMU)

It is estimated the state will lose over $3.76 billion in revenue over the next twelve years due to squandered business opportunities and company boycotts. Photo via CNBC.com

It is estimated the state will lose over $3.76 billion in revenue over the next twelve years due to squandered business opportunities and company boycotts. Photo via CNBC.com

"Bathroom Bill." Two words that have ostracized the state of North Carolina, costing them millions of dollars in revenue and offending LGBT members and supporters across the nation. Finally, on March 30th, the governor of North Carolina signed an act repealing the bill. However, the damage has already been done and the state legislature will be trying to repair their image for years to come, especially in the sports world.

During the beginning of 2016, the state of North Carolina faced internal struggles within the government regarding the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act. Also known as House Bill 2, this bill limited which restrooms transgender people were allowed to use and didn't allow municipalities to pass protective orders for the LGBT community.

By the end of March 2016, the governor signed this into action and chaos ensued. Companies with North Carolina offices and businesses that traveled to the state immediately began to retreat. Major sporting events followed suit. 

For example, the NBA was supposed to hold their All-Star weekend in Charlotte earlier this year, but because of the bill, they elected to move the event to New Orleans. All-Star weekend is a multi-day spectacle that fans, families, and celebrities from all over the nation love to attend. Obviously, the intuitive loss is in the revenue gained from the event, but there is now an absence of exposure for the city of Charlotte and North Carolina.

It is estimated the state will lose over $3.76 billion in revenue over the next twelve years due to squandered business opportunities and company boycotts. This speaks to the impact sports has on a local economy.

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These are just a few examples of the ramifications of the “Bathroom Bill" and how it affected national views of the state. Hopefully, other states will see how a controversial act can hurt reputation and economy. North Carolina will work on repairing both of these problems for decades and must learn from their mistakes.


About the Author: Sam Ellis is a junior at Southern Methodist University and will be receiving a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Sport Management. You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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