New Orleans wants to host the 2017 NBA All-Star game


New Orleans hosted NBA All-Star games in 2008 and 2014.
  • New Orleans hosted NBA All-Star games in 2008 and 2014.

New Orleans might host the 2017 NBA All-Star game following the league’s objections to LGBT discrimination laws in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the game was scheduled next February. Today the league announced it's pulling out.

North Carolina’s House Bill 2 requires transgender people use public restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates, and it omits and limits LGBT protections from statewide anti-discrimination laws, including workplace discrimination. The law has been widely derided by touring performers, companies and events that canceled gigs or business in the state.

“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community — current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans," reads a statement from the NBA. "While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2."

The NBA will announce its replacement city "the coming weeks." According to Yahoo Sports, New Orleans is on the top of that list. New Orleans hosted All-Star games in 2008 and 2014. The event is scheduled Sunday, Feb. 19, with a week of events leading up to it — in New Orleans, this means an All-Star weekend in the middle of the last weeks of Carnival, with the game a little more than a week before Fat Tuesday.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu released a statement almost immediately after the NBA's announcement. "The NBA has been a great partner, so we would be excited to host the 2017 All Star Game if called upon," Landrieu said. "New Orleans is a diverse, open and inviting city, and we pride ourselves on our ability to host major sports entertainment events."

Jay Cicero, President of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, said "New Orleans has demonstrated time and again our ability to successfully host some of the largest and most visible sporting events and celebrations in the world, including the 2008 and 2014 NBA All-Star Games. We will do everything possible to assist the NBA, [Tom and Gayle] Benson and the New Orleans Pelicans in their efforts, if called upon.”

In 2016, that "first weekend" of New Orleans parades included Oshun, Cleopatra, 'tit Rex, Chewbacchus, Femme Fatale, Carrollton, King Arthur, Alla and Barkus.

When the city hosted Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, which fell smack in the middle of Carnival, the city divided it into halves — one week of parades separated by nine days of a Super Bowl circus followed by the remainder of the Mardi Gras schedule.

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