Monday, July 25, 2016

Charlotte loses NBA All-Star Game

Ever since the dust-up in North Carolina over gender neutral bathrooms fired off, there have been substantial social, PR, and financial consequences for the state, and for the city at the epicenter of the debate: Charlotte.

Over the past few months, entertainers such as Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, and Maroon 5 have canceled concerts in the city. In addition, employers such as PayPal and Deutsch Bank canceled plans to move jobs to the city.

NBA All-Star Games Refuses to Come to Charlotte

Now, though, the city may have lost the event that will leave the biggest scar. Charlotte has lost the NBA All-Star game.

All star weekend brings in tens of millions to the city, and after the NBA said it’s pulling out to find a different venue, all that potential cash is gone. Vendors, hotels, and restaurants that have come to depend on the revenue will have to find another way to make ends meet.

The news is a bit of a shock. Early on, NBA officials said they planned to keep the game in Charlotte, and they continued saying that right up until last Thursday when the boots came down with the force of a Lebron James power dunk.

The league released a statement which said, in part: “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…”

Implications of Cancellation

The pain caused in NC by this decision goes well beyond the financial, though. Like Indiana, North Carolina is a mecca for basketball. It could be argued that it’s the state’s second favorite religion. Home to perennial basketball powerhouse colleges, North Carolina kids grow up loving hoops. And, of course, the NBA’s Greatest of All Time, was a Tar Heel and now owns the local NBA franchise, the Charlotte Hornets.

Added to the financial difficulties, this has caused, the state’s attempt to force cities to defy the national equal protection law for transgenders is costing the city not only cash, but legacy and culture. Some argue it’s worth the price, but that cost just keeps rising.

David Milberg is a financial analyst from NYC.

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