CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Charlotte City Council heard one final presentation about the NBA All-Star Game Monday from a few of the key organizers who have been instrumental in bringing the event to Charlotte.
Tom Murray, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), and Fred Whitfield, President and COO of the Charlotte Hornets, spoke to the elected leaders during the council’s Monday evening strategy meeting.
Whitfield opened his remarks by reminding the council that the bid for Charlotte to host the All-Star Game was first submitted in August of 2014. He thanked all of the stakeholders that have helped to make the event possible.
Whitfield noted that there will be hundreds of sanctioned and unsanctioned All-Star events happening throughout the weekend. He said the fourth annual Junior NBA Day and the 20th annual NBA Legends Brunch will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center. The 20th annual NBA All-Star Technology Summit will be held at the Westin Hotel, according to Whitfield.
He said the Epicentre will be transformed for the NBA Crossover event. The event is free but it will be ticketed the Friday through Sunday of All-Star Weekend. He said there will be an NBA store, NBA player appearances, as well as art and memorabilia displays.
Whitfield said the NBA will focus on giving back to North Carolina communities through its NBA Cares organization.
“Our league will use the game to bring people together for a series of forums, community conversations, and in-arena experiences,” said Whitfield.
Murray said the budget for the event seems to be running smoothly at this point. He said the group has $61,000 in paid media investment and light rail and bus wraps along with signage all over the Epicentre.
Murray said there are 28 hotels with 32,000 rooms in the event’s official blocks. He said 1,800 media members from 200 different countries are expected to be in Charlotte for the event.
Council members seemed pleased to hear the final overview before the big event.
“I think what our community will remember most is the NBA Cares programs and efforts around the community,” said Charlotte Mayor Wi Lyles. “I think all of those will be things that will be not just over the weekend, but they will have a lasting impact in our community.”
Lyles thinks the event will be a great opportunity to showcase the Queen City.
“If this isn’t going to be our best marketing opportunity, I’m not sure what will,” said Lyles.