Charlotte submitting bid to host upcoming NBA All-Star Game
A photographer takes photos of the Charlotte Hornets logo during a news conference to unveil the design for their home court in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, June 26, 2014. (AP / Chuck Burton)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, August 12, 2014 1:31PM EDT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Hornets owner Michael Jordan, a 14-time NBA All-Star, is pushing to bring the big game back to Charlotte.
The Hornets, in conjunction with the Charlotte Sports Foundation, announced plans Tuesday to submit a bid to host the NBA All-Star Weekend in 2017 or 2018.
A contingent of Hornets employees and city officials planned to fly to New York Tuesday to deliver the bid to NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and other league executives.
"The overwhelming support for the Hornets during their playoff run and rebranding has proven the passion Charlotte has for the NBA," Charlotte Sports Foundation executive director Will Webb said in a press release. "The worldwide fan base of the NBA makes this a perfect opportunity to showcase Charlotte and Time Warner Cable Arena on a global stage."
Charlotte hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1991 at the suburban Charlotte Coliseum, which has since been demolished.
The Hornets now play in a downtown arena.
The team has openly discussed in the past its desire to have the game return to Charlotte for quite some time.
In April of 2013, NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the possibility of Charlotte hosting a future All-Star game, saying "I can't speak as to the year, but I'm very excited about the prospect of the All-Star game returning to Charlotte. It's a terrific arena and one of our best basketball markets in terms of passion."
Silver said this past March that no dramatic changes were needed to the arena.
He said the scoreboard, suites and lighting were some of the things that needed to be upgraded to host the All-Star Weekend, which regularly features the game's biggest stars and a host of celebrities.
The Hornets made their plans official at a press conference Tuesday in Charlotte.
"It is our honour to submit our bid for the city of Charlotte to host a future All-Star Weekend," Hornets COO Fred Whitfield said in a release. "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. 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."
Jordan's Charlotte Bobcats went 43-39 last season and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2010, but were swept in the first round by the Miami Heat. Charlotte changed its name to the Hornets earlier this year.