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Hornets Make the Pitch for Future All-Star Game


Hornets Sports and Entertainment along with Charlotte Sports Foundation present their case for Charlotte to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend

The Charlotte Hornets laid out their plans to bring the 2017 All-Star Weekend back to the Queen City at a press conference in Time Warner Cable Arena Tuesday. Hornets President and COO Fred Whitfield alongside former Hornet Dell Curry and Charlotte Sports Foundation Executive Director Will Webb, outlined a pitch that included an in-person delivery to NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum in New York City, a video entitled “A Hive of Hospitality” and a honeycomb shaped package.

They hope this package will be enough to fend off the 8 to 10 other teams that will be making bids for the 2017 or 2018 All-Star Weekend. HSE has been in consultation with recent All-Star Weekend hosts on the bid process and how best to present Charlotte as a destination city for the NBA. Whitfield’s focus seemed to be on Charlotte being a community welcome and suited for the NBA’s global appeal and the support he has from many, if not all, local leaders.

The bid is partly contingent upon undisclosed upgrades that the city of Charlotte and HSE are already in contractual negotiations over. Details on these upgrades are scant at this point but Whitfield was focused on making TWC “state of the art” and specifically spoke about the scoreboard needing to be more competitive with those around the league.

Standing in place of Mayor Clodfelter, who was ill, was deputy city manager Ron Kimble. Kimble in consultation with HSE will suggest to the city council how much of the proposed $42 million dollars the city, via taxpayer revenue, should put up for these proposed upgrades. Detailed discussions should take place within the next month.

The Hornets feel the time is right to bring the All-Star Weekend back to Charlotte for the first time since 1991, when the Hornets were arguably at the peak of their popularity. Two years would certainly give the franchise time to rebuild that base of support that left with the original Hornets departure and never fully returned with the Bobcats.

With the return of the Hornets name and and our team on the rise, we feel like this is the perfect time for Charlotte to host an All-Star Game and we’re confident in our chances for success. — Hornet President and COO, Fred Whitfield

Also confident is Charlotte Sports Foundation Board Chairman Johnny Harris who worked closely with the Hornets to put together a bid that they feel will reap benefits for Charlotte tourism and put the city in prime position for future national sporting events.

The pitch that went to New York City not only focused on the revitalization of the Hornets franchise but the community of Charlotte and the facilities that it can provide to an All Star Weekend that is growing in popularity and global attention.

“It’s not just a Hornets presentation but really a regional one. I want them to really understand that the community of Charlotte and the states of North Carolina and South Carolina want to host,” said Whitfield.

The shortlist of cities will be notified in the fall of this year. The final decision will be made sometime in the fall of 2015.

Would you welcome All-Star Weekend to Charlotte in 2017? Is it worth $42 million in taxpayer money? Share your thoughts below and tune in LIVE this Friday to Hive Talk Live at 6:30pmET to hear more about how the pitch went down and what’s next for the Hornets All-Star bid.