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Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
September 23, 2022 5:02 pm

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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September 23, 2022 5:02 pm

Nancy Vaughan joins the show to discuss her thoughts on the ACC Headquarters leaving Greensboro for Charlotte, and more about the package that was put forth to try and keep the ACC in Greensboro.


On this show, and whenever I've been asked about the importance of ACC headquarters this week, the importance of the issue, I've always defaulted to this position. If you want to know why something within a community is important, talk to the people in that community. So when I hear critics say, who cares about ACC headquarters?

Or where they're at, this isn't a big deal. It's pretty clear, they aren't from Greensboro, and they don't understand Greensboro. Somebody who certainly does is Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn, who joins us now.

Mayor, the time's appreciated. How difficult has this week been for you? Hey, Josh, you know, it has been a difficult week. Obviously, we got information that we didn't like. But as I've said earlier, it wasn't totally unexpected. But as you were saying in the intro, ACC athletics means a lot to the city of Greensboro and Guilford County. We've had an almost 70 year run with them.

But we know it'll continue just in a different form. Before, you couldn't speak freely about what your package to the ACC was, because you were worried other cities might match what you offered. Now that the decision has been made, what was the full extent of what was asked for and provided to the ACC in order to try to keep them to stay? You know, so we had one of the issues that they mentioned was wanted to be near an airport hub.

And so we offered a concierge service for for jet service one on one so that they could get where they want to in the most efficient way. We had talked about naming rights for the ACC Coliseum. We've talked about a number of financial incentives to look for a new place here within the city. But more than that, they asked us to help them on things like diversity and equity and inclusion and mental health. And working with those in Guilford County, here in our staff, Truist Leadership Academy, the International Center, Civil Rights Museum, we came up with a great curriculum.

And quite frankly, I won't be surprised if we see them use that curriculum in the future. What can you tell me about the naming rights to the Coliseum? Well, we had offered them we had offered to name the the Coliseum the ACC Coliseum. Because one of the things they asked us is to how could we help them build their brand, make sure that their brand was out more in the public. And for instance, Mary J. Blige just kicked off her world tour out of the ACC, out of the Greensboro Coliseum this past weekend.

What that could have meant to them was that they were not able to do that. And what that meant to them was that on all of her merchandise, you know, when they list the tour dates, instead of saying the Greensboro Coliseum, say the ACC Coliseum, it would have been on all of her marketing, all of her tickets. You know, we have amazing acts, amazing events come through our Greensboro Coliseum. And, you know, we had never really considered naming rights before. But this might be a good partnership.

Wow, it really is a great idea. Like next year, I think about it when it's not just the ACC women's and men's basketball tournaments next March. It's the NCAA tournaments and you get Jim Nance and others talking about the ACC Coliseum and the week after that Bruce Springsteen is going to be performing at what would have been the ACC Coliseum. Who was the brainchild for this idea? Was that the ACC or you guys?

Actually, it was me. You know, I was driving around the city one day thinking, what could we do that is different that we haven't done with the ACC before? We've talked about naming streets after them, you know, after the former commissioner. But what can we do that is really different? And as I was driving down, I was driving down Gate City Boulevard, and there it was, and I thought, you know, that is something we have that none of the other cities that they were talking to could offer, because they had already sold their naming rights.

Nancy Vaughn, Greensboro mayor's with us. And I'm getting upset just listening to you describe something that would have been so cool and special because the piece that I struggle with, and I asked Jim Phillips this directly, and I asked Duke's president Vincent Price, and I asked John Curry Wakes AD this yesterday, and nobody's been able to give me an answer on your talk about Jim Phillips talked about commitment by Charlotte. They were offered things that they couldn't turn down. And I you've been very public about some of the things that you offered, like the concierge and some of the options when it comes to real estate and such. Give me one example of something that Charlotte offered that Greensboro couldn't.

And nobody's given me a flat answer. What makes you confident? I mean, ACC Coliseum and otherwise, that your offer was more substantial than your competition. You know, obviously, in their eyes, it wasn't. All I can tell you is that as a city and a county, we brought together a great group, city county employees, Coliseum, CVB, community and business leaders. And we came up with the very best. We came up with the very best proposal that we could, and we are proud of it. We don't feel like we left anything on the table, like if we could have done it over again, we would do this differently.

They obviously made a decision for other reasons. But, you know, we always knew that, you know, there were two, two parts to this, and the other one is the tournaments. And we want to continue to partnership with them on tournaments, not just ACC men's and women's basketball, but of course, swimming and diving and golf and all of the other great sports.

That we do here in the city of Greensboro, Nancy Vaughn's with us here. How, how assuring was Jim Phillips about the tournaments piece when he spoke with you earlier this week? And that coupled with the North Carolina lawmakers package that included two tournaments in Greensboro from twenty five to thirty four.

How, how assuring is that to you? So, you know, if, if they, if they accept the incentives that the state offered, then, you know, we, we have a tournament next year that one shouldn't count because it was, it was already given out, and then there will be two more. And then the legislators said there actually had to be four tournaments, two dedicated to Greensboro, two could go somewhere else in North Carolina, but I'm hoping that they'll stay here in Greensboro.

Because I believe that we do it the best Nancy Vaughn with us here. Do you believe in the end that this decision was predetermined? You expected that this was something that was going to come up as soon as Jim Phillips or excuse me, John Swofford decided to retire.

Do you think that this was something that in the end was always going to happen? You know, I look back and I think about conversations that I've had with my dad, and we started talking about what the future of ACC sports looked like when the footprint changed, when you had Syracuse and Boston and Miami and Florida, and now it was no longer compact. It actually took up the whole, you know, the whole coastline and then going out to Notre Dame.

And that, that really, I think, is when people started talking about having it in another location. People who had no attachment to Greensboro or to the, to the ACC tradition. Your father, of course, Fred Barakat, who was a basketball coach and assistant commissioner for the ACC for so many years. Thank you so much for doing this. And I know on behalf of a lot of people who call the Triad home, your efforts are appreciated. They are recognized. You're representing your constituents.

And in the end, that's what politics is supposed to be about. Thank you so much for explaining some of the efforts you put forth to try and keep the ACC headquarters in the Triad and for talking with us today. Great. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-09 12:26:31 / 2023-01-09 12:30:15 / 4

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