National sports tournament pulls out of W.Va. competition over transgender ban

The U.S. Quidditch Cup organization has cut ties with West Virginia because of the transgender ban on sports.

West Virginia House bill 3293 bans transgender girls and women from playing on women’s sports teams. The ban is now causing a national sports league to pull out of competition in the Mountain State.

“We were advised a couple of months ago that because of the transgender athlete ban in West Virginia and because it goes well beyond the guidelines and regulations of the NCAA, that they’re not going to consider West Virginia for any future tournaments,” Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango said.

A national tournament for the popular game from the Harry Potter franchise, Quidditch, was set for Shawnee Sports Complex in 2020 before it was canceled because of the pandemic. Officials reapplied and were expecting to win a bid for 2024 until they got the news that U.S. Quidditch would no longer consider West Virginia, or any other state that supports transgender sports bans, for future events.

“It’s hurting our local businesses,” Salango said. “This would have brought in, depending on which estimate you look at, around $1 million to $2.5 million in economic impact. That’s money directly from our small businesses. That would have gone into our hotels and our restaurants.”

Salango said this is the first sporting event that was negatively impacted by the transgender ban, and he said he doesn’t expect it to be the last.

“The NCAA came out a few months back and said they’re not going to host championship tournaments in any state that has a law like West Virginia,” Salango said. “So, we’ve got to really take a hard look at this, and go back and fix it.”

Earlier this year, a federal judge in Charleston issued an order stopping the bill from taking effect while they review the constitutionality of the law.

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