CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As the largest sporting event ever hosted in Charlotte, NBA All-Star 2019 was a weekend to remember in the Queen City. Charlotte was positioned to shine on the international stage—and that she did.
“NBA All-Star 2019 demonstrated the type of world-class event that our city is capable of successfully hosting,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “The teamwork and collaboration shown by all parties involved – the city and its various departments, Mecklenburg County, the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, the Hornets and the NBA – ensured that all aspects of the weekend went smoothly. NBA All-Star 2019 provided an opportunity to showcase the City of Charlotte to a global audience, left a lasting legacy through various NBA Cares initiatives and resulted in both significant economic and reputational impacts. The Hornets are extremely proud to have served as hosts for NBA All-Star 2019.”
With more than 250 ambassadors, activations at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and welcome signage throughout the city, more than 35 official events related to the NBA All-Star activities and so many other events hosted at restaurants, nightlife hot spots, attractions, hotels and meeting spaces throughout the city, Charlotte showcased its welcoming spirit and hospitality to all guests from beginning to end.
“I’ve never been more proud of our city and of the teams at Spectrum Center, Bojangles’ Coliseum, the Charlotte Convention Center, the Epicentre and throughout the Charlotte hospitality community than when I watched NBA All-Star 2019 take shape and come to fruition,” said CRVA CEO Tom Murray. “From day one of planning, we always wanted to ensure that the NBA felt the sense of Charlotte hospitality from the second they got here. We did that tenfold, and we’ve set a new standard for what our city is capable of.”
During NBA All-Star 2019, there were more rooms sold in Uptown than any other event in Charlotte history. Additionally, the ADR (Average Daily Rate) in Uptown hit record highs at an average of more than $320. For comparison, ADR during the 2012 Democratic National Convention came in at nearly $307.
Below is new hotel data just released from STR showing hotel performance highlights in Uptown Charlotte and Mecklenburg County from Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week:
- Weekend occupancy averaged 95.5%, up 28.8% over the same time in 2018.
- The Uptown hotel market sold 36.5% more rooms than in 2018.
- The average rate topped $320 for the weekend, nearly doubling at 98.5% growth over 2018.
- Total revenue in Uptown hotels grew by 170.8%.
- Weekend occupancy averaged 83.7%, up 15.4% over the same time in 2018.
- The Charlotte hotel market sold 18.4% more rooms than in 2018.
- The average rate topped $200 for the weekend, growing 89.5% over 2018.
- Total revenue in Mecklenburg County grew by 124.4%.
The CRVA often touts that the benefits associated with recruiting and hosting strategic events such as NBA All-Star 2019 are to: 1) create significant economic impact that can be reinvested back into our community to enhance quality of life for Charlotte residents and visitors; 2) support valuable hospitality jobs that represent one in nine jobs in the Charlotte community; and 3) produce valuable media awareness that the city could never afford to generate via traditional marketing avenues.
In relation to the latter, the NBA All-Star Game was the most viewed sports program on cable of February-to-date. The game garnered 6.8 million viewers on TNT and TBS domestically and ranked as Sunday’s top Nielsen-rated program of the night on cable. NBA All-Star Saturday Night dominated the night before with 5 million viewers. Turner Sports’ exclusive coverage of NBA All-Star 2019 in Charlotte delivered significant audiences across all platforms including nearly 35 million hours of video content consumption across TNT, TBS, Turner’s TV Everywhere platforms, social channels (@NBAonTNT & @NBATV) and NBA-specific content available on Bleacher Report. Turner’s TV Everywhere platforms garnered double-digit growth throughout NBA All-Star 2019, with video streams and video consumption up 32% and 14%, respectively, versus last year.
Internationally, the weekend’s activities reached markets in which Charlotte has no traditional marketing presence in such as China, the league’s largest international market. The game was aired in 215 countries and in 49 languages. Beyond the broadcast of the game, approximately 350 international media members from 44 countries covered and attended the game.
The initial estimate of economic impact reported was approximately $100 million, based on studies from other like-size cities that have hosted the event. The CRVA will work to generate an economic impact report in partnership with the NBA for NBA All-Star 2019 via Tourism Economics and will release its findings in the coming months.