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The Allure of an All-Star Weekend

Time Warner Cable Arena

The reach is extremely strong for the NBA all-star game. Consider this: Last season in New Orleans, more than 1,800 media members covered all-star weekend events, including 265 international media members. The opportunity for the city of Charlotte, if they landed the event, would be immense.

Basketball is thought to be the second most popular sport globally, so the thought that most of the sports world is tuning into the city that hosts this event for a weekend every single year could be quite accurate. Fans in 215 different countries and from the tongue of 47 different languages had the opportunity to tune into the All-Star game last season. NBA TV, NBA.com and NBA Mobile provided 140 hours of coverage last year in New Orleans. 500 million, yes – 500 million, followers and likes on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Sina, and Tencent dominated social media during the All-Star weekend last season.

The NBA All-Star Jam Session is also a popular event that the league puts on during All-Star week. The Jam Session covered 500,000 square feet and featured 40 different attractions. In addition, over 80,000 fans attended the Jam Session over the course of four days.

Long story short, the city of Charlotte could potentially reap major financial and exposure benefits from hosting either the 2017 or 2018 NBA All-Star game. That being said, it was suggested in the press conference today that $42-43 million in upgrades would likely have to take place in order for this event to be possible for Time Warner Cable Arena and Charlotte to host. Obviously, that would require taxpayers to get on-board and cough up funds to make this possible.

I lobby on regularity that Charlotte has the rare combination of being a young and budding city, while existing in a country that has experienced financial instability for what seems like as long as I can remember. The city appears to be flourishing, the Hornets set to return next season, and now the two are combining to keep the momentum moving forward.

It’s easy to imagine that the city will find a way to come up with the money that is being suggested in improvements for the All-Star weekend event, but on-court performance from the Hornets over the next few seasons would definitely help move the needle as well. A trendy, up-and-coming city, with a trendy, up-and-coming team is quite an easy pitch for the league to expand it’s brand globally through a smaller market.

This is all obviously preliminary, but it’s noticeable that the Hornets Sports and Entertainment along with the Charlotte Sports Foundation rolled out the red carpet for this announcement. The city of Charlotte is aggressively pursuing this event.