The City of Charlotte took a step closer to hosting the All Star Game as the City Council agreed on a Capital Improvements plan yesterday that included some $27.5 million in spending on Time Warner Cable Arena as reported by Steve Harrison of the Charlotte Observer. The package also includes $600,000 per year for additional maintenance costs.
The $27.5 million figure is about twenty million less than the Charlotte Hornets and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority originally requested. Harrison reports that the money is also part of an agreement that the Hornets made in 2003 as the Bobcats to keep Time Warner Cable Arena among the most modern venues in the league. Time Warner Cable Arena is now almost a decade old.
Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, made noises back in March about having Charlotte host the All-Star Game sometime in the near future. He did say that granting a game to Charlotte would require upgrades to Time Warner Cable Arena. This package is designed to handle those doubts. The biggest request that Silver suggested was a new scoreboard. There is a new scoreboard in the works in the funding, which would be functional by 2017, the earliest bid that the Hornets submitted for the All-Star Game.
This development is yet another sign that serious basketball has returned to Charlotte. We saw the Bobcats make the playoffs. We have seen the name change to the Hornets. We have seen the team go and sign Lance Stephenson and draft well. Now the city is committing money to upgrading Time Warner Cable Arena. That is a lot of optimism to cash in on.
The environment is fairly fluid too. The Miami dynast was dismantled. The Pacers suffered a horrendous blow to their chances when Paul George got hurt. The Cavs are on the rise. The Bulls got Gasol. No one knows how it will play out. Why not have it play out our way, the Hornets way.