by: Tenikka Smith Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Hornets announced Tuesday the team is putting in a bid to host an NBA All-Star Game in 2017 or 2018.
Team representatives flew to New York on Tuesday to hand deliver the bid to the NBA’s deputy commissioner.
“I think the NBA will know this afternoon that we are sincere. We're ready,” said team President and COO Fred Whitfield.
Charlotte last hosted an NBA all-star game in 1991 at the now non-existent Charlotte Coliseum, when the team's current owner, Michael Jordan, was a player himself.
Within the next month, the team will make a presentation asking the Charlotte City Council for nearly $43 million in arena upgrades.
“That was the amount of the request I can tell you that where we are is not at that level. That's all I’m willing to say at this point,” said Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble.
Kimble said the city is contracted to make improvements to the Time Warner Cable Arena and any upgrades would be paid for using hospitality tax revenues. Depending on what the city is willing to spend, the Hornets could also have to pitch in.
Landing the All-Star game could bring an estimated $100 million to Charlotte's economy.
“I think it's an exciting time for the Hornets because of the name change and I think that the revenue generated by an All-Star game would be worth the investment,” Hornets fan Jeff Davis said.
Channel 9 was told eight to 10 teams are expected to submit bids. A final decision will be made in fall 2015.
Channel 9 asked if Charlotte's need for more hotel space could hurt the team's chances.
Charlotte Sports Foundation Executive Director Johnny Harris said the bid for an All-Star game required about 6,000 rooms and he is confident the city can provide that.
Harris also believes Charlotte's international airport will give it an advantage over other teams as well.
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