Charlotte has won the bidding rights to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend, the league announced Tuesday.
The news was first reported by Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer on Monday.
The 66th annual NBA All-Star Game will take place Sunday, Feb. 19 at the 20,000-seat Time Warner Cable Arena, the league's third-newest arena and home of the recently re-branded Charlotte Hornets. The annual Rising Stars Challenge will be Friday, Feb. 17 and All-Star Saturday Night will include the Slam Dunk Contest and Three-Point Shootout on Feb. 18.
Charlotte last hosted the All-Star Game in 1991 at the Charlotte Coliseum, a 116-114 victory by the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia 76ers forward Charles Barkley was named the game’s MVP.
“As a thriving city with a proud basketball tradition and a deep passion for the game, the city of Charlotte is a terrific All-Star destination,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at a presser in Charlotte Tuesday morning. “We thank Michael Jordan, the Hornets organization and the Charlotte community for their support and congratulate them on bringing our All-Star festivities back to North Carolina.”
Charlotte had been considered the front-runner to host the game after Silver said earlier this year that it was “probably unlikely” for Orlando to win the bidding after hosting the game in 2012.
“It is an honor to bring NBA All-Star back to Charlotte,” said Hornets owner and chairman Michael Jordan. “I remember the excitement of playing in the 1991 All-Star Game, the first one held in my home state, and I take pride in being able to host NBA All-Star 2017 as the owner of the Hornets. This is a great moment for our fans, our city, and our franchise. We are excited to welcome the world to Charlotte and Time Warner Cable Arena in 2017.”
Portland was also considered for the hosting duties, but dropped out last year because of continuing issues of getting a hotel project off the ground.
According to Bonnell's report, the city of Charlotte will spend $27.5 million in capital improvements for Time Warner Cable Arena, also paying an extra $600,000 for the next 10 years to help maintain the building. These renovations were key to the city securing the All-Star bid.
The arena's suite and locker-rooms will be redone and a scoreboard should be in place in time for the 2017-18 season. The city will also pay $775,000 to rework part of the lower bowl of the arena.
“We are thrilled to be named the host of NBA All-Star 2017,” said Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter. “This is an incredible opportunity to showcase Charlotte internationally as a city that excels as host to a variety of large-scale sports, entertainment, and arts events. We look forward to working with the Hornets and our other partners to give the ‘Queen City’ welcome to the many team representatives, visitors, and residents who will participate in the All-Star 2017 festivities.”
Next season’s All-Star Game will take place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, the first time the game will be held outside of the United States.
- Scooby Axson and Jeremy Woo