A bipartisan group of U.S. senators are urging the National Basketball Association to move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game away from Charlotte, North Carolina, because of a state law that limits protection for gay, lesbian and transgender people. Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Patty Murray of Washington state, along with Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, wrote to NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday.
The city of Charlotte is considering a plan to spend about $30 million to make improvements at Time Warner Cable Area, home of the NBA’s Hornets. Staffers told Charlotte City Council on Monday the money would come from two hospitality taxes. City council is expected to take a first vote on the proposal at a meeting Sept. 8. The proposed upgrades include increasing the number of lower level seats by about 600. More than $2 million would be spent to repair the floor and improve its quality.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Monday Charlotte could host a future All-Star Game. “I’d love to bring the All-Star Game back here,” Silver said before the Bobcats game with the Houston Rockets. “This is a wonderful community, a hotbed of basketball, not just pro but college as well.”