Charlotte will host the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. The NBA made the announcement Wednesday, effectively returning the event to the city less than two years after it pulled the 2017 All-Star Game in response to House Bill 2.
The 68th annual event will take place at Spectrum Center on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, preceded by a weekend of games and other activities.
In announcing the decision, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver alluded to the controversy that led the NBA to pull the 2017 game from Charlotte less than two years ago, saying he believed the city shared the league's values of "equality and inclusion."
"While we understand the concerns of those who say the repeal of HB2 did not go far enough," Silver said, "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 principals to ensure that every All-Star event will proceed with open access and anti-discrimination policies."
Silver said all venues, hotels, and businesses the NBA works with during the event will adhere to those policies.
"Sports have a long history of helping to change attitudes around important social issues," Silver said, "We believe holding our All-Star activities in Charlotte will be a powerful way for the NBA to continue this tradition."
Shortly after the announcement was made, Charlotte Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan praised the league's decision.
"We are thrilled the league has awarded NBA All-Star 2019 to the city of Charlotte," he said, "All-Star Weekend is an international event that will provide a tremendous economic impact to our community while showcasing our city, our franchise and our passionate Hornets fan base to people around the world."