NBA All-Star Game will return to Charlotte in 2019

SHARE NBA All-Star Game will return to Charlotte in 2019

Jimmy Butler talks with DeMar DeRozan during practice for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
| Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The NBA All-Star weekend will return to Charlotte in 2019, the league announced on Wednesday.

The three-day weekend featuring the All-Star Game, slam-dunk contest and three-point shootout is slated for Feb. 15-17 of 2019. The Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets, is the expected venue.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement the decision was based on the city of Charlotte’s ”deep connection” with NBA basketball for over three decades and updated legislation by the state of North Carolina.

The league relocated the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte due to the state’s controversial House Bill 2, which was considered to be discriminatory to members of the LGBT community and cost the state millions of dollars from other canceled events.

But the state of North Carolina replaced HB2 with House Bill 142, signed by Gov. Ray Cooper, in early April. The new bill’s authors deemed it a ”compromise” from HB2, which the NBA believed went against its all-inclusive initiative.

HB142 removes the requirement for transgender people to use public bathrooms based on their birth certificate and not their gender identity. But it still includes a ban for anti-discrimination ordinances until December 2020 — keeping intact a key part of HB2 that could allow businesses to determine bathroom provisions.

”We are excited to bring the All-Star Game back to Charlotte for the first time in 28 years,” Silver said in the statement. ”While we understand the concerns for those who say the repeal of HB2 did not go far enough, we believe the recent legislation eliminates the most egregious aspects of the prior law.

”Sports have a long history of helping to change attitudes around important social issues. We believe holding our All-Star activities in Charlotte will be a powerful way for the NBA to continue this tradition.”

Despite outcry from LGBT activists arguing the bill is still discriminatory, Silver said in April that, after considering ”all points of view,” Charlotte was eligible and in consideration to host the 2019 All-Star Game. The NCAA, likewise, ”reluctantly” felt the changes were enough and allowed the state to host championship events — namely NCAA tournament games in 2021 and 2022 — after relocating all of them from the state for the 2016-17 season.

Before HB2 was repealed, the Associated Press estimated the law would have cost North Carolina more than $3.76 billion in lost business over 12 years, on top of the millions the state already lost as a result of 2017’s relocation of NCAA championship events and the NBA All-Star Game.

”All-Star weekend is an international event that will provide a tremendous economic impact to our community while showcasing our city, our franchise and our passionate fan base to people around the world,” Charlotte Hornets chairman Michael Jordan said in a statement.

The 2018 All-Star game is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles.

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