CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)(STL.News) — The NBA All Star game is headed back to Charlotte in 2019, a couple of years longer than anticipated.
The NBA announced that the All-Star weekend will be held Feb. 15-17 in Charlotte and the game will be played at the Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets.
The league had selected Charlotte to host the 2017 All-Star game, but later moved the game to New Orleans because of the state law restricting the rights of LGBT people. However, a compromise was struck in March to partially erase the impact of the House Bill 2 law limiting anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people.
“While we understand the concerns of 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,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a release. “Additionally, it allows us to work with the leadership of the Hornets organization to apply a set of equality principles to ensure that every All-Star event will proceed with open access and anti-discrimination policies.
“All venues, hotels and businesses we work with during All-Star will adhere to these policies as well. 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.”
Hornets owner and longtime NBA great Michael Jordan said in a release he is “thrilled” the game is coming back to Charlotte.
“We want to thank Commissioner Silver for his leadership throughout this process and for the decision to bring NBA All-Star back to Buzz City,” Jordan said in the release. “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 Hornets fan base to people around the world.”
Charlotte previously hosted the All-Star game in 1991 at the Charlotte Coliseum, which has since been demolished.