It's been awhile since there was word of the Charlotte Hornets applying for an All-Star bid went public, but with reports of other potential suitors dropping out of the running, has Charlotte become the clear favorite? According to a conversation with Jacob Rosen, of Waiting For Next Year, he thinks that Charlotte might be the current favorite for the 2017 All-Star game when you consider that the only other competition, Cleveland, put their bid in for 2018. There's also the fact that we're 22 months out from 2017's All-Star game and still haven't heard anything. Charlotte will need a lot of time to prepare themselves, so if they do win 2017, we should know relatively soon.
Hosting the All-Star game is obviously a huge honor, and something the Hornets haven't gotten to be a part of since 1991. From a political standpoint, the revenue and tourism brought in by the All-Star game is a huge plus. On the basketball side of things, hosting the all-star game puts your team, and city, at the center of the basketball universe for an entire weekend. The NBA is rewarding that city, and their fans, for the support they've shown over the years, which is usually why brand new arenas are often the site of such events.
However, one thing standing in Charlotte's way of getting the All-Star game is that they don't have a brand new building with the latest in scoreboards, and other in arena equipment. The NBA is always a big fan of hosting their giant mid-season party in high quality arenas, and Time Warner Cable Arena will be pushing 10 years this upcoming season.
Even so, Charlotte may not have a shiny new arena, but what they do have is a wildly successful re-brand. Yes, the Hornets didn't win a lot of games, but they got everybody in the NBA excited about them when the Hornets came back. They had the cool jerseys, the nostalgic Hugo, and created a lot of "buzz" around the team. However, a lot of that went away when the team had a slow start out of the gates and never managed to kick it in to high gear. If our dot connections are correct, as this is all just speculation, then maybe the common NBA fan can get excited about the Hornets all over again.