Earlier this week, the Charlotte Hornets threw their hat in the ring for the right to host an upcoming NBA All-Star Game. A joint statement was released by the team and the recently founded non-profit Charlotte Sports Foundation.
Charlotte, which did not have a franchise from 2002-04, last hosted the All-Star Game back in 1991. Of course, if you may have forgotten, the other contender for the 2017 or 2018 game appears to be the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Not many other legitimate competitors are on the horizon. Portland had been a contender, but infrastructure issues derailed their 2017 bid. Orlando, which hosted the 2012 game, hopes to remain a future contender as well. There haven’t been too many other reports of interested host cities.
The upcoming schedule includes New York City in 2015 and Toronto in 2016. This season’s game will be played at Madison Square Garden, with Saturday festivities to be played at the Barclays Center. The Toronto announcement was made with much fanfare and lots and lots of Drake.
Previously, the Cavs had announced their intention to host a future game in spring 2012 and then submitted an official bid in spring 2013. The announcement about Toronto was made last September, but early reports are that the 2017 decision won’t come until later this winter or next spring.
Of course, the 2016 Republican National Convention will take place in Cleveland sometime that summer. Thus, necessary and centrally located infrastructure will likely already be in place for the city by the time of possibly hosting the NBA’s mid-season extravaganza.
Cleveland last hosted the NBA All-Star Game back in 1997, the year of the league’s 50th anniversary celebration. The Indians also hosted the MLB All-Star Game that summer and advanced to the World Series.
[Related from WFNY’s Scott Sargent at the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans:
On Crescent City, Community and Creation]