It looks like the NBA is making a big but easy decision on where to host All-Star weekend in 2017. According to Scott Kushner and Brett Dawson of the Advocate, New Orleans is “closing in” on a deal with the NBA to host All-Star festivities in February:
New Orleans Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha publicly expressed the franchise’s desire to bring the game back to the Smoothie King Center during an episode of the Black and Blue Report (the team’s in-house podcast) and said the Pelicans were doing “doing everything we can” to host the event.
It appears that effort is on the precipice of paying off.
The Pelicans are working with the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, SMG, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau to make the final push. It’s a cooperative infrastructure that gives New Orleans “a decided advantage over other markets” in its pitch to land the game, Lauscha said.
“It’s a very short time frame,” Lauscha said on the podcast. “I mean, this is going to be on us very quickly, so I know they want to get that decided and we want to know so we can start shifting resources and assets to make this a successful game.”
All-Star weekend was originally going to happen in Charlotte but due to the state’s controversial House Bill 2, which had a direct impact on the LGBT community in North Carloina, the NBA pulled the festivities from the city in July after no significant changes were made to the law, despite the league’s insistence that changes had to be made.
After pulling the game from Charlotte, New Orleans, Brooklyn/New York and Chicago were reported as possible next destinations for All-Star weekend. New Orleans was the reported front-runner though and according to the Advocate’s report that still seems to be the case and the likely landing spot for All-Star 2017.
New Orleans hosted the All-Star game in 2014, so the city already has a history of hosting the league, which is likely why the NBA is reportedly having the game there. But nothing is official yet. However, the Advocate reports that a final decision should be made “early next week.”
Courtesy: CBS Sports