New Orleans has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2017, the organization announced today. The 66th NBA All-Star Game will be played on Feb. 19, at Smoothie King Center, home of the NBA New Orleans Pelicans. The game was previously scheduled to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was pulled from the state after its passage of the controversial HB2 law, which has been criticized for being discriminatory toward the LGBT community. The All-Star game is expected to generate more than $100 million in statewide economic impact.
“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,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We are grateful to Tom and Gayle Benson, the Pelicans organization, Governor John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation for inviting us back for what promises to be another exciting and memorable celebration of the game.”
In addition to the game, Smoothie King Center will host the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 17 and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 18, while the NBA All-Star Practice, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and NBA Development League All-Star Game will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This will mark the third time Crescent City has been the site of the league’s annual midseason celebration, having previously hosted the event in 2008 and 2014.
In the wake of the devastating floods that have affected tens of thousands of Louisiana residents, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have joined the Pelicans and New Orleans Saints to provide financial and other ongoing support of the flood rescue, relief and rebuilding efforts.
“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,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. “In Louisiana, one of the strongest bonds that unite 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.
“While we move into the recovery phase of this disaster, I want to thank the NBA for the vote of confidence in our state to host this event and their support of the relief efforts currently underway. I want to congratulate Mayor Landrieu, the City of New Orleans and the Pelicans for working in short order to make this all possible.”
NBA All-Star on-court festivities tip off on Feb. 17, with the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, where the league’s top rookies and second-year players will compete in a U.S. versus world game format for the third consecutive year. On Feb. 18, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature current NBA players showcasing their unique abilities in exciting basketball competitions, including the Taco Bell Skills Challenge; Foot Locker Three-Point Contest; and Verizon Slam Dunk. The weekend concludes on Feb. 19 with the NBA All-Star Game.
“When we learned that we had an opportunity to host next year’s NBA All-Star Game, we went straight to work to lay the groundwork for 2017,” said President and CEO of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau Stephen Perry. “Our tourism industry is second-to-none at planning and accommodating massive events like this. Within three weeks, we were able to assure the NBA that all the pieces were in place to make the 2017 NBA All-Star Game an unforgettable experience that will combine our world famous Mardi Gras with all the excitement that the NBA All-Star Game delivers.”
The NBA will continue to honor its commitment to social responsibility during All-Star 2017 with a full schedule of NBA Cares and Jr. NBA events in and around New Orleans throughout the week. By working with local schools, government agencies and nonprofits, the NBA will engage thousands of children and families and provide important resources to community-based programs.