The NCAA will not move its championship tournament from Houston, Texas after the city voted yesterday to repeal an equal rights ordinance that provided non-discrimination protections for its LGBT citizens.
Dan Gavitt, vice president of men’s basketball championships, released a statement to OutSports saying it would not move the Final Four from Houston because “it takes years to plan and implement this world-class event”:
“The NCAA remains committed to hosting the Final Four and its many fan-related events in Houston so they are open and accessible for all,” Gavitt told Outsports in a statement. “The NCAA has no plans to move the 2016 Final Four, as it takes years to plan and implement this world-class event. We will continue our work with the Houston Local Organizing Committee to provide an inclusive environment for the student-athletes competing in and visitors attending our games and events in April.”
The NCAA added that Houston’s vote against LGBT rights could “impact” whether it would bring the final four back to Houston:
“There are many factors in a thorough bid process that the NCAA considers when determining what cities will host the Final Four, including but not limited to local, city and state laws and ordinances.”
OutSports founder Cyd Ziegler was unswayed by the NCAA’s rationale behind remaining in Houston for the 2016 Final Four, writing, “If a hurricane hit Houston tomorrow and destroyed the venue, the NCAA could move the event. They are choosing not to.”
Back in March of this year, the NCAA said it would re-evaluate its relationship with Indiana after that state legalized its anti-gay “license to discriminate” law.