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New Orleans to Host 2017 NBA All-Star Game

New Orleans PelicansThe New Orleans Pelicans and Smoothie King Center will host the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, as the league settles on a popular destination as a replacement for Charlotte’s Spectrum Center.

In addition to the game, the Smoothie King Center will host the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 17 and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 18 while the NBA All-Star Practice, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and NBA Development League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This will mark the third time the “Crescent City” has been the site of the league’s annual midseason celebration, having previously hosted the event in 2008 and 2014.

Charlotte lost the 2017 All-Star Game after state legislators approved the controversial House Bill 2. At that time, NBA officials said they work with host Charlotte Hornets on a 2019 date — provided the state change the law.

Ever since it was signed into law this spring, HB2 has been widely criticized as one of the most blatantly anti-LBGT laws in the nation. Among its provisions, HB2 bans North Carolina municipalities from passing their own protection laws for the LBGT community and forces transgender people to use public restrooms that match the gender listed on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity.

“New Orleans is a world-class destination for sports and entertainment and we are very appreciative that the city is once again hosting our All-Star festivities,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.  “We are grateful to Tom and Gayle Benson and the Pelicans organization and to Governor John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation for inviting us back for what promises to be another exciting and memorable celebration of the game.”

“We are grateful that the NBA has selected us to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans,” said New Orleans Pelicans Owner Tom Benson.  “We have made tremendous upgrades to the Smoothie King Center and know the building will be a first-class venue to host the myriad of events associated with All-Star weekend.  New Orleans has hosted the All-Star Game twice in the past nine years, and is a perfect destination for NBA fans.  As we know, the NBA will engage thousands of local children and charities during this weekend.  On behalf of my wife Gayle and the entire Pelicans organization, we thank Governor Edwards, Mayor Landrieu, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, SMG, and all of the others that worked so hard in a short amount of time to bring the All-Star Game to New Orleans.”

In addition, in the wake of the devastating floods that have affected tens of thousands of Louisiana residents, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have joined the Pelicans and the New Orleans Saints to provide financial and other ongoing support of the flood rescue, relief and rebuilding efforts.

RELATED: NBA Pulls 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte

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