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Bobcats could get All-Star Game with arena upgrades

Charlotte hosted the All-Star Game back in 1991 when Charlotte Coliseum was a new arena and the Hornets were a new franchise. A lot has happened in 23 years including the Hornets moving away, a new franchise coming in and the Hornets name returning to Charlotte. A new building too, Time Warner Cable Arena, was also built for the new franchise and the downtown area has completely changed.

It seems like this classic Southern city would be a perfect host for the All-Star Game. Charlotte has hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012 at this building. The All-Star Game though? Adam Silver said the building is not quite ready and needs some improvements if Charlotte wants the NBA’s premiere event.

Silver told Rick Bonnell and Steve Harrison of the Charlotte Observer that improvements to the Bobcats’ stadium will be necessary before the All-Star Game returns to North Carolina:

“I’d love to bring the All-Star Game back here. This is a wonderful community, a hotbed of basketball, not just pro but college as well.

“There are some upgrades to the building that are needed. I know those discussions are underway right now. It’s part of the understanding here that the building remain state-of-the-art. Nothing dramatic is needed. But certainly an upgrade to the scoreboard, some things with the suites and the lighting.”

Charlotte is already thinking about improving the decade-old Time Warner Cable Arena.

As part of the lease with the city, the City of Charlotte promised to keep the arena among the league’s best and most modern. A term in the lease requires the city and the team to review the stadium after seven years and for the city to assist in making some improvements. That could cost Charlotte several million dollars in the very near future.

The team estimates the arena needs $34 million in improvements during the next four years to get it up to the modern levels the team desires. There are a lot of upgrades that need to be made.

Stadium Journey Magazine ranked Time Warner Cable Arena with four out of five stars. With the right upgrades, Charlotte’s stadium certainly could get the game. Having Michael Jordan around does not hurt either.

Next year’s All-Star Game will be in New York/Brooklyn and then in Toronto in 2016. The 2017 All-Star Game site will be announced likely around the Finals.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily