The Charlotte Hornets officially announced their bid to host the NBA all-star game on Tuesday morning. They will bid for both the 2017 and 18 all-star games, hoping to lure one of them to Charlotte.
Team and city officials both said that Time Warner Cable Arena will need various upgrades of close to $42 million whether or not its bid succeeds for an all-star game. These would include improvements to the scoreboard and the lighting system, but other specifics were not revealed. It was also not clear whether the Hornets would make a contribution to the arena upgrades or if it would be funded entirely by hospitality tax revenue.
Fred Whitfield, the Hornets president, said he expected 8 to 10 NBA teams would bid for the 2017 and 18 all-star games and that the deadline to do so is Aug. 15. Whitfield, team mascot Hugo, former player Dell Curry and a couple of prominent members of the Charlotte Sports Foundation were scheduled to leave immediately after Tuesdays news conference on a chartered plane to hand-deliver the Hornets bid to the NBA offices in New York.
We are sincere, and we are ready, Whitfield said about the all-star game bid.
Team owner Michael Jordan was not at the news conference. Whitfield said Jordan was just finishing up hosting a basketball camp in California.
Charlotte last hosted the NBA all-star game in 1991, in the early days of Hornet-mania. Whether the city will get to do so again will likely not be known for more than a year. Whitfield said he expected the NBA would winnow the bidders down to a short list of about four teams in the spring of 2015, followed by a final decision in the fall of 2015.
The locations of the 2015 NBA all-star game (New York) and 2016 game (Toronto) have already been decided.
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