The Charlotte Hornets formally announced their bid for the 2017 or 2018 NBA All-Star Games during a press conference Tuesday.
The city of Charlotte last hosted an NBA All-Star Game in 1991 at the old Charlotte Coliseum. The East defeated the West in that contest, 116-114, before a sold-out crowd of 23,530 fans.
“It is our honor to submit our bid for the city of Charlotte to host a future All-Star Weekend,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & COO Fred Whitfield. “The Charlotte Sports Foundation and other community and business leaders have urged us to undertake this effort and have pledged their full support.
"We are grateful for their backing and look forward to once again having the chance to bring international acclaim to the city of Charlotte," he added. "With the return of the Hornets name and our team on the rise, we feel like this is the perfect time for Charlotte to host an All-Star Game and we are confident in our chances for success."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver commented on the possibility of the All-Star Game returning to Charlotte last April.
“I can’t speak as to the year, but I’m very excited about the prospect of the All-Star Game returning to Charlotte,” Silver said. “It’s a terrific arena and one of our best basketball markets in terms of passion.”
Whitfield estimates it would cost the city of Charlotte between $42-43 million in upgrades to prepare for the contest, if the bid is accepted.
Despite that cost, Whitfield estimates hosting the All-Star Game would generate $100 million in revenue for Charlotte.
Following Tuesday's press conference, a group of city officials and Hornets employees flew to New York to present their bid officially to NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum.
Appoximately 8-10 cities will be applying to host those All-Star Games, according to Whitfield.
That list is expected to be narrowed down to 3-4 cities by this fall, and an official announcement of the host city for the 2017 or 2018 All-Star Games will be announced next fall.
“We are very confident in the strength of our bid to host NBA All-Star Weekend,” said Johnny Harris, CSF Board Chairman and President of Lincoln Harris. “Charlotte has proven to be a thriving center of economic growth and development. It is a tremendous destination for both domestic and international sports fans. The board of CSF is dedicated to impacting the Charlotte community, both economically and socially. Hosting the NBA All-Star Game will not only have Charlotte buzzing with excitement, but will have a huge economic impact on the tourism industry.”
Hosting an NBA All-Star game would add to a list of star-studded events in the Queen City, which include the Belk Bowl, the ACC Football Championship, the CIAA Tournament, the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship and NASCAR’s All-Star Race, Coca-Cola 600 and Bank of America 500.
Charlotte will also host NCAA men’s basketball tournament games in 2015, the ACC Tournament in 2019 and the PGA Championship in 2017.