WASHINGTON — If Washington, D.C. and the Verizon Center become hosts for the 2017 NBA All-Star game, it will be unsolicited and perhaps even unwanted by Washington Wizards’ leadership.
The Washington Business Journal reports that team officials have not expressed interest in hosting the game, which includes a week of festivities and economic boon. The team did not offer any additional comments or clarification.
Adam Silver and the league pulled the 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte after North Carolina’s HB2 eliminated laws protecting the LGBTQ community, including barring transgendered people from using bathrooms according to their gender identity.
“Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change,” Silver said in a statement.
“We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league. These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.”
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said the NBA’s decision to move its 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte is “total P.C. (politically correct) B.S. It’s an insult to our city and an insult to our state.”
Charlotte Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan took a far more diplomatic approach, calling the decision “disappointing.”
“We understand the NBA’s decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season,” he said. “There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so.
“With that said, we are pleased that the NBA opened the door for Charlotte to host All-Star weekend again as soon as an opportunity was available in 2019.”
Charlotte and the state stand to lose the considerable economic impact associated with such events as the NBA All-Star game and the Super Bowl, which is also on the line.
Forbes reports that the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority estimates the region will lose $100 million as a result of the 2017 All-Star game being pulled.
This does not seem to be enough of a draw for Monumental Sports and Entertainment to get involved.
Washington last hosted the NBA All-Star game in 2001, while the team was still under then-owner Abe Pollin. While no numbers for the game were readily available, the 1999 All-Star game that was cancelled was expected to generate $35 million for Philadelphia. The game’s value has nearly tripled in the intervening 17 years.