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NBA All-Star game in Charlotte needs nearly $6 million in support

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver awarded the 2017 NBA All-Star game to Charlotte. The game will require subsidies from the city and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver awarded the 2017 NBA All-Star game to Charlotte. The game will require subsidies from the city and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte taxpayers would spend $600,000 to help fund the 2017 NBA All-Star game, and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority would contribute millions of additional dollars under a proposal that will be considered by the City Council on Monday.

Charlotte said the total subsidy for the game is nearly $5.9 million.

Most of the subsidies for the game would come from hospitality taxes collected by the city and managed by the CRVA. That money – which is from a hotel/motel occupancy tax and a tax on prepared food and beverages – is often used to bring large conventions and events to the city.

By law, that money is restricted for promoting tourism.

But the city taxpayers would be asked to contribute $600,000 in in-kind services for traffic control and police. That money could be spent on other things, such as road resurfacing, police equipment or affordable housing.

Under the proposal, the city would also spend $1.5 million in tourism funds to help stage the event and the CRVA would spend $1.25 million in tourism dollars.

The Charlotte Hornets basketball team would contribute $150,000. The team will also work with the Charlotte Sports Foundation to sell $1.5 million in sponsorships.

The city said it would also seek financial help from the state and Mecklenburg County.

That money would be used to cover the following expenses:

▪ $1.6 million for the rental at Time Warner Cable Arena.

▪ $1 million for rental of the Convention Center and Bojangles’ Coliseum.

▪ $1.15 million for “destination management.” A local host committee will use that money to promote the event, for security and other expenses.

▪ $750,000 for the city’s host fee. That money will go directly to the NBA.

▪ $750,000 for the cost of paying the sales tax on free and sponsor tickets.

▪ $600,000 for city services.

The city said the event would be an economic boost. It estimated visitors would spent at least $60 million during the long February weekend.

The city said New Orleans, site of the 2015 All-Star game, hosted nearly 55,000 visitors.

Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble said the city expects the event to pay for itself in terms of new sales taxes generated. He said the city projects it will collect more than $800,000 in sales taxes.

The CRVA will also get new revenue from an increase in hotel and motel room sales and more restaurant business.

The city said it expects the event to generate $7.2 million in new sales taxes, though most of that money will go to the state.

The game will be the city’s biggest event since the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which an independent study estimated brought $91 million in new spending to the city. The city’s expenses for that event were mostly paid for by a $50 million federal grant.

For the All-Star game, the city said it would use money from the sale of land near Interstate 277 and the NASCAR Hall of Fame to pay for its $600,000.

The arena is also undergoing a $33.5 million renovation that is being funded by hospitality taxes.

Many of the renovations were mandated by the city’s management agreement with the Hornets. The city also said that the upgrades could help Charlotte land the All-Star game.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

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