The NBA made it official Friday afternoon when it awarded the 2017 NBA All-Star Game to New Orleans, leaving North Carolina in the dust.
The All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Feb. 19 in the Smoothie King Center – home of the New Orleans Pelicans.
New Orleans was picked as the host city after the league decided to move it from North Carolina over the state's controversial HB2 legislation, which bars cities in the state from creating their own protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver offered this statement in a press release:
"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. 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."
Pro Basketball Talk notes "The Crescent City" was widely believed to be the front-runner to land the game at the time the league announced its intentions to pull the game from Charlotte.
Las Vegas was also mentioned as a possible host.
It will be the third time New Orleans will have hosted the All-Star Game.