Nearly a month after the NBA announced that it would move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, N.C., in the wake of the state’s anti-LGBT law, league leadership announced today that the game will take place in New Orleans.
CNN reports that the February 19 game will be played in New Orleans’s Smoothie King Center, marking the third time the Big Easy has hosted the All-Star Game.
“New Orleans is a world-class destination for sports and entertainment and we are very appreciative that the city is once again hosting our All-Star festivities,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement today. “We are grateful to Tom and Gayle Benson and the Pelicans organization and to Governor John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation for inviting us back for what promises to be another exciting and memorable celebration of the game.”
The news comes as tens of thousands of Louisiana residents work to rebuild after historic flooding that has destroyed an estimated 40,000 homes in the southern part of the state, killed at least 13 people, and prompted more than 86,000 to seek federal disaster assistance. The NBA and its National Basketball Players Association have promised to contribute financially to the recovery effort, in addition to volunteering time and resources during the weeks leading up to the game.
“Even in the midst of a historic crisis, I am excited that the NBA has recognized how great the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana are,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a Friday statement. “In Louisiana, one of the strongest bonds that unites all of us is our passion for sports. Not only will NBA fans be able to participate in the All-Star Game events, they will also be a part of our world-famous Mardi Gras festivities. The fan experience can’t get any better than that.”
Full Story at the Advocate.