MSU and Ole Miss may not be able to host championship tournaments like baseball regionals and super regionals because of Mississippi transgender ban.
NCAA threatens to ban championship tournaments from Mississippi
Another huge story we're following today comes from the college sports world ... the national collegiate athletic association board of governors announced it may ban future championship tournaments in mississippi... wtva's rhea thornton is live in starkville for more on what prompted this announcement and talk with folks about the impact this could have on the city.
About a month ago, governor tate reeves signed a bill banning transgender athletes from playing in school sports... now, the ncaa is pushing back against the state saying without allowing all to participate, teams like mississippi state may not be able to host championship tournaments like baseball regionals and super regionals... impacting much more than just the university.
Whit stuckey - local business owner: "we're definitely going to be a little disappointed if we don't get that opportunity."
Whit stuckey is the the owner of moes original bar b que here in starkville.
He said fans coming in during baseball season helps keep businesses afloat during the summer drought without students.
Whit stuckey - local business owner: "baseball weekends are really big.
Draws in a lot of people.
Draws in the tourism.
People that haven't been to starkville before are going to come and see what it's all about."
With the bulldogs sitting at 24 and 7... it seemed that they may have a shot at hosting the regional tournament this year... however, in light of the state's prohibiting of transgender athletes from participating in sports activities, the ncaa threatened to take away hosting the post-season.
Paige hunt is the director of tourism in starkville.
She said the impact of baseball is astronomical to the town.
Paige hunt - director of tourism at gsdp: "the first sec baseball series that we had here in starkville our hotels were almost at 100% occupancy and our restaurants were busy, so mississippi state's events really do impact our community's bottom line."
Hunt said in 2020, tourists spent nearly 92 million dollars in oktibbeha county... events like regionals and super regionals would only increase that value for starkville.
Paige hunt - director of tourism at gsdp: "they're coming to starkville and they're spending their money here and then they're leaving.
The taxes they leave behind help us fund things that those tourists aren't using like our roads and things like that."
Hunt also mentioned hotels were down almost 55% and restaurants about 20% because of the pandemic.
Stuckey feels championship tournaments are just what small towns need right now.
Whit stuckey - local business owner: "it's not something that we do every year, but the years that we've had it in the past it's been huge.
It's a big help.
To come out of a pandemic and to have it would be huge for us too."
Rhea thorton, wtva 9 news mississippi's u-s