NC Lost The NBA All-Star Game Because of HB2 and Now Charlotte's Facing the Consequences
This weekend, Charlotte was supposed to host the NBA All-Star game, but because of HB2 the game has been moved to New Orleans. Charlotte hotels, restaurants, and the Charlotte Convention Center are now losing out on hundreds of millions of dollars all because of HB2. Residents of Charlotte who were willing to drop hundreds on tickets to the game now aren't even going to watch it on TV. How much revenue can HB2 lose the state of NC before politicians in Raleigh will repeal it?
Before the league moved the game, it was almost impossible to find a hotel in downtown Charlotte near the arena for this coming weekend. Now, the Westin is offering rooms starting as low as $90 per night.
Hickory Tavern, a sports bar/restaurant where fans regularly gather for Hornets “viewing parties,” and other local bars have mostly cancelled All-Star themed events and aren’t expecting nearly as big crowds.
The Charlotte Convention Center was going to host many of the events, including the interactive NBA All-Star Experience. Now the biggest event on the center’s calendar this weekend is the International Equestrian Trade Show.
“There are a lot of business leaders that would like to see a resolution to HB2 and there are a lot business leaders who have had ongoing discussions with leaders of the Senate and the House, asking them to work together to get a resolution,” Whitfield said.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in October that returning the All-Star Game to Charlotte in 2019 is “a high priority,” provided there’s a resolution to the so-called bathroom bill, which limits which restrooms transgender people can use in government buildings and schools.
But that’s no guarantee.