NBA All-Star has taken over Charlotte and there is a ton of activity to try and process. Here’s a cheat sheet to the weekend’s high points, including official games, fan experiences and parties.
Official Games & Events
NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at Bojangles’ Coliseum – Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. – Rosters are stacked with celebrity names like Steve Smith, Dr. Oz, Quavo and Chris Daughtry. Official tickets are sold out but you can find them on Stubhub starting around $100. Watch it on ESPN.
MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars at Spectrum Center – Friday, Feb. 15 at 9 p.m. – Ten first- and second-year NBA players from the U.S. take on 10 first- and second-year NBA players from around the world in the league’s annual showcase of premier young talent. Available tickets are $300. Watch it on TNT.
State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Spectrum Center – Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. – The fan favorite prelude to the big game features the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Mtn Dew 3-Point Contest and the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest. Sorry, no tickets. Watch it on TNT.
68th NBA All-Star Game at Spectrum Center – Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8:20 p.m. – The main event. The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the list of 10 players – two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference – selected by fans, current NBA players and a media panel. Official tickets are sold out but you can find them on Stubhub starting around $550. Watch it on TNT/TBS beginning at 7 p.m.
A number of brand activations around town feature flashy, interactive fan experiences. These are huge productions and fully rebranded takeovers of existing venues by major global brands. All are free and open to the public but most require advance RSVPs. Expect crowds and substantial wait times to get in.
When: Friday, Feb. 15 – Sunday, Feb. 17; 12-7 p.m. daily
Where: Epicentre, 210 E. Trade Street (enter near Vida)
Tickets: Advance RSVPs for all 3 days have closed but I was told they will still accommodate walk-ups for on-site registration as space allows. It sounds like they capped online registration low specifically to allow space for this.
Note: Strict clear bag policy enforced. All non-compliant bags will be refused.
What to expect: A three-story fanfest hub with full venue takeovers from different brands — Howl at the Moon is now NBA Crossover, Rooftop 210 is now Budweiser Live and Whiskey River is now MTN DEW ICE Courtside Studios. You’ll also see set-ups from Jack Daniel’s, Express, Levi’s, Beats by Dre and Mitchell & Ness. Most of the final plans are fairly under wraps but plan on major music performances, player appearances and other surprises.
When: Thursday, Feb. 14 3-9 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 15 9a-6p; Saturday, Feb. 16 9a-7p; Sunday, Feb. 17 9a-6p
Where: The Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon Street
Tickets: There are no advance tickets but you should save time and download the Nike app in advance because you’ll scan it to get in. The line will be insane.
What to expect: A multi-level takeover of the museum featuring an court with on-site basketball clinics, retail pop-up featuring the new Nike Adapt BB self-lacing shoes (you tie them with your phone), an apparel bar with custom jerseys and tees and a Snapchat lounge where you can make your own custom filter.
When: Thursday, Feb. 14 6:30-10:30 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 15 8:30 – until
Where: The Fillmore, 820 Hamilton Street
Tickets: Tickets are free but require advance RSVP and are sold out online.
What to expect: Live broadcasts of Inside the NBA with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal plus special performances. Comedian Chris Tucker performed Thursday and Rae Sremmurd will take the stage Friday.
When: Sunday, Feb. 17 1-6 p.m.
Where: The Music Factory, 820 Hamilton Street (in front of The Underground)
Tickets: Tickets are free and require advance RSVP. Request them here. Again, if you hit a waitlist or a “closed” hurdle, there may still be hope in the event that they’ve closed online registration to allow for walk-up registrations on site.
What to expect: An expansive “optimized for Instagram” event complex with two courts, two stages, DJ battles, gaming, food, swag and a headline performance featuring 2 Chainz. I’m told he’ll go on at 5:20 p.m. at The Underground.
Parties & Celebs
Major names in town this week include: Diddy, DJ Khaled, Migos, Meek Mill, Rick Ross, DMX, Gucci Mane and more. See our full guide to 35 All-Star parties taking over the city this weekend.