Charlotte won a bid to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend, the Observer has learned.
A formal announcement is expected at 11 a.m. Tuesday, with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan in attendance at a news conference, according to sources. Charlotte officials and the Hornets organization formally made a bid for the event last summer.
In comments during a visit to Charlotte last year, Silver said he thought it was a sure thing Charlotte would be awarded an All-Star Weekend after city officials agreed to various upgrades and renovations at Time Warner Cable Arena.
“Personally I’m very excited about coming back here. I don’t think there’s any question it’s going to happen,” Silver said in December. “Just a matter of what year.”
The city agreed last fall to pay $27.5 million toward improvements to the arena. The NBA saw those improvements as key to any All-Star bid.
The All-Star Weekend is in mid-February. Specific dates for the 2017 event have not been set. The 2016 All-Star Game will be Feb. 14 in Toronto.
Along with the All-Star Game on Sunday night, All-Star Weekend includes various skills competitions (a dunk contest and a 3-point shooting contest specifically) plus a game between select first- and second-year NBA pros and an NBA Development League All-Star Game. There also is a fan festival, which the Charlotte Convention Center likely will host.
Among the stars who figure to be here in 2017: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, the league’s most valuable player, who grew up in Charlotte and starred for Davidson.
All-Star Weekends typically bring thousands of fans in from around the country. The league uses All-Star Weekend as its primary event to network with sponsors, which consumes many of the tickets. But Hornets season-ticket holders should have access to some events.
The Hornets operate Time Warner Cable Arena (19,077 seating capacity) in a public-private partnership with the city. The city paid about $260 million to build the arena in 2005. Since then it has hosted the Democratic National Convention, the ACC men’s basketball tournament and annually hosts the CIAA tournaments.
Construction costs and these upgrades are paid for out of the hotel-motel occupancy tax.
Center city Charlotte has 4,568 hotel rooms, according to Center City Partners. An additional 1,900 hotel rooms are either being proposed or are under construction.
Available hotel rooms are a key factor in any All-Star Weekend bid. Typically the event fills every hotel room in the market for four or more nights.
Charlotte previously was awarded the PGA Championship golf tournament for August 2017.
Charlotte hosted the All-Star Game once before in 1991 at the since-demolished Charlotte Coliseum on Tyvola Road. Charles Barkley was the MVP of that game with 17 points and 22 rebounds. Barkley started for that Eastern Conference team alongside Jordan (26 points) and now-Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing (18 points and 10 rebounds).
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell