Silver: Charlotte Could Host '17 NBA All-Star Game If Arena Gets Some Upgrades
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver yesterday said he would “love to bring the All-Star Game back” to Charlotte for the first time since ’91, but “some upgrades” to the city-owned Time Warner Cable Arena are needed in order for the venue to be considered. Silver prior to last night’s Rockets-Bobcats game told reporters the league’s Events & Attractions Department has been to Charlotte, “surveyed the building and looked at available locations in the community for our Jam Session and other parties and events” associated with the game. The commissioner said the building would require “an upgrade to the scoreboards and things with the suites, a little bit with the lighting infrastructure, a few other things.” Asked when a site would be chosen for the ’17 ASG, Silver said, “Probably in about another year, and so the team has time, but I know the first order of priority is ensuring that the building issues are dealt with." The league has already scheduled the ’15 ASG for Madison Square Garden, with ’16 slated for Air Canada Centre (Alex Silverman, Staff Writer).
FIXER-UPPER: In Charlotte, Bonnell & Harrison note the Bobcats’ 25-year arena lease "calls for the city of Charlotte to keep Time Warner Cable Arena among the league’s most modern." The lease after the first seven years "requires the city to make improvements, so long as half of other NBA facilities have them." The team has "requested money to upgrade suites, overhaul restaurants, build a new play area for children and move the ticket office, among other improvements." Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon said that the prospect of hosting the ASG "shouldn’t make the city spend more money than necessary." He said, "The city should only be guided by what it’s obligated to do by way of the agreement." Silver's comments, "linking upgrades to a quick opportunity to host the All-Star Game, seemed to be a carrot to spend more" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/25).
YEAR OF THE CAT: In Charlotte, Tom Sorensen writes the Bobcats' "time should be here," but will the city "get excited about remaining home games" against the Nets, Wizards, Magic, Sixers and Bulls? Or a "best-of-7 series that could begin in Miami?" Sorensen: "It ought to. How many seasons have we turned on our television to the playoffs and watched other teams compete?" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/25). Meanwhile, Silver yesterday said of the Bobcats' rebranding to the Hornets, "They’re setting all kinds of records for merchandise sales. I just said in my last meeting I don’t intend to leave town without a Hornets T-shirt" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/25).