08 April, 2017
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced Friday that Charlotte will be eligible to host the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, following the state's pseudo repeal of the controversial HB2 "bathroom bill".
"We are encouraged that the National Basketball Association expects to award its 2019 All-Star Game to North Carolina and that it shares our long-held belief that private businesses, including potential host venues, have every right to expand on federal non-discrimination policies however they wish", N.C. Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said in a joint statement.
Even though nothing is definite for 2019, Silver did say back in October of 2016 that "returning the All-Star game to Charlotte in 2019 is "a high priority". "Whether it is sporting events, concerts or family shows, Hornets Sports & Entertainment remains committed to providing the best possible entertainment to our city and takes great pride in the fact that Spectrum Center serves as an economic engine for Charlotte". That "shares our long-held belief that private businesses, including potential host venues, have every right to expand on federal non-discrimination policies however they wish", Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said in a joint statement.
Charlotte was initially slated to host the 2017 All-Star Game, but the league relocated the All-Star weekend to New Orleans over HB2. "But after considering all points of view, we determined that Charlotte will be eligible to host" the All-Star game. That was part of more than $3.76 billion over a dozen years in lost business as a effect of HB2, an Associated Press analysis found.
Eliminating four games in five nights: During his opening remarks, Silver said, "As we have already announced, we are adding a week to next year's regular season".
The NBA was one of several companies, including PayPal, Deutsche Bank and Voxpro, that claimed to curtail business activity in North Carolina previous year in response to HB2. It also prevented local governments from passing nondiscrimination policies based on gender identity. And I'm also proud that we're going back. He says those requirements would need to be met within about the next month.
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The bill was nominally repealed in March by new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Republican-controlled state legislature.
Although the boycott represented a minuscule fraction of the state's annual $500 billion economy and failed to unseat North Carolina as a regional and national powerhouse, the gay-rights movement leveraged the corporate desertions to pressure lawmakers into repealing HB2.
The legislation passed last week, HB 142, is not HB2 repeal, and it makes North Carolina the latest state to enact an anti-LGBTQ bill into law this year.
Hudson Taylor, executive director of Athlete Ally, called the NBA's decision to return to North Carolina "disappointing".