A local sports pub operator is planning to buy the former Charlotte Hornets and Hornets Home Opener, the NBA team’s Hornets Basketball Club, as part of a move to bring the sports bar to the downtown.
The news comes as Charlotte’s economy is reeling from a devastating storm that knocked out power and forced a shutdown of the entire downtown area on Monday.
The announcement of the purchase comes less than a week after it was announced that an undisclosed partner had been selected to redevelop the former Hornets Basketball club into a mixed-use hotel, shopping center and office building.
The former Hornets basketball team’s new owner has been working to revive the team for years, and he will make the move to the newly named Hornets Basketball Center.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said in a statement that the purchase will provide more than just entertainment and hospitality for the downtown Charlotte market.
She said the sale is expected to close in the second half of the year.
The purchase of the Hornets Basketball Team and the sale of the former home of the NBA’s Hornets, as well as the development of a mixed use development adjacent to the former Home Opening and the Charlotte Museum of Art, are all part of the efforts to revitalize downtown Charlotte and attract new residents and businesses to the area.
The Charlotte Sports Bar and Grill is the third sports bar in the Charlotte area to be purchased in the last five years.
The first acquisition of the team’s former home, the Charlotte Civic Center, was in 2012.
That deal, in which the former team’s arena is purchased for $7.5 million, is being rebranded as the Charlotte Coliseum, and is being operated by the nonprofit Charlotte Sports Center.
The Hornets are expected to play in a new arena in 2020, after a 20-year hiatus.