Following controversy that led the NBA to pull Charlotte’s 2017 All-Star Weekend, the league announced this week that the NBA All-Star Game will return to North Carolina in 2019.
NBA All-Star Weekend 2019 will take place in Charlotte, NC, with the 68th All-Star Game taking place at Spectrum Center, home of the Hornets, on February 17, 2019.
“For three decades, the NBA has had a home in Charlotte. Generations of families have attended games there, and fans from many different walks of life have come together to share a passion for a team that is an anchor in the community,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
“We have decided to award NBA All-Star 2019 to Charlotte based on this deep connection and the belief that we can honor our shared values of equality and inclusion, and we are excited to bring the All-Star Game back to Charlotte for the first time in 28 years,” he added.
In summer 2016, the NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte to New Orleans, following controversy over the state’s House Bill 2, which limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Silver says that while he and the league understands the concerns, they believe recent laws help eliminate most of what they objected to.
“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. 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.”