The Hornets rebranding process continues has Charlotte has submitted a bid to host the NBA All-Star Game for either 2017 or 2018 announced the by the Charlotte Hornets and the Charlotte Sports Foundation earlier today.
The NBA is already committed for the next two games. Charlotte has shown its ability to host large events in the city. There was the Deomcratic National Convention in 2012 for instance. The downtown (uptown?) has become significantly more interesting since the last time the Hornets were in Charlotte. Also, Time Warner Cable Arena has the advantage of not being on some island out on Tyvola Road. People coming into Charlotte will find hotels and attractions within walking distance of the arena if they so choose.
All Star Weekend also has the benefit of falling after the NFL season ends and before the conference and NCAA tournaments. It would be the only event in town when it occurs. It would be another lovely opportunity to show what kind of basketball town the city really is.
Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports that NBA commissioner and Duke alum Adam Silver made some comments about this very idea back in March when visiting the city. Silver noted that the ten-year old Time Warner Arena would need a couple of what he termed minor upgrades to make hosting the NBA All-Star Game possible. He said the scoreboard would need to be upgraded and that there were some lighting concerns.
It is hard to see down the road three years and say what the Hornets may look like at that point or even who might be in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. Yet it is clear that any event that brings bodies and dollars into the city of Charlotte will be good for the city’s economy and the image of professional basketball in Charlotte. That image took a pounding when the original Hornets left for New Orleans, and still has not fully recovered.
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