MB Area Chamber of Commerce responds to ACC decision

Monday, July 06, 2009

On May 19, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced that BB&T Coastal Field, home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, had been selected as the site of the 2011-2013 baseball championship. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans teamed with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to compete in the bidding process to secure the tournament. As part of the proposal, money would have been raised for local scholarships to benefit the United Negro College Fund and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and a baseball clinic would have been hosted for disadvantaged children.

After the tournament was announced, the state NAACP passed a resolution condemning the ACC for breaking an economic boycott in place against the state since 2001, a boycott prompted by the Confederate flag’s presence on Statehouse grounds. Both U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn, Majority Whip, and Mickey James, president of the Myrtle Beach NAACP, offered letters of support for hosting the event in Myrtle Beach.

Numerous high-profile events have been held locally and in our state in recent years, including the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate in Myrtle Beach in January 2008, which was hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. This same group also hosted a meeting in Myrtle Beach in February 2009. In South Carolina, the Southeastern Conference held a women’s basketball championship in Greenville recently, and the Southern Conference and Big South Conference (both Division I) have held more than 100 conference tournament championships.

Brad Dean, president and CEO, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, offers the following comments:

"We’re disappointed to learn the ACC has cancelled its plans to bring its men’s baseball championship to Myrtle Beach, but we respect their decision. We admire the leadership of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in identifying this opportunity, and we are extremely grateful to those who offered their support and encouragement for this effort, most notably the Myrtle Beach NAACP and Congressman Jim Clyburn. Knowing that other high-profile events have been held in our state in recent years, including numerous presidential debates and dozens of other Division I conference tournament championships, we were looking forward to welcoming the ACC to Myrtle Beach. We’ll continue to look for ways to attract prestigious events to the Grand Strand, and we wish the ACC well in its future endeavors."

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