CAROLINA, N.C. — Charlotte moved one of its arena tenants to the new $1.3 billion $700 million arena it is building for the NBA team that was slated to open in 2019.
The move comes as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said he would like to see the arena built by 2024.
Charlotte said the move to the Charlotte SkyCenter was made with the express intention of expanding the city’s capacity and making the arena more attractive to the league’s teams.
The city’s arena lease expires in 2023, but Charlotte will have to pay more than $100 million annually until then to maintain the arena.
Charlotte’s current arena, the Barclays Center, is more than 50 years old.
Charlotte is one of only two NBA cities that does not own a team, the other being Brooklyn.
Charlotte officials said the arena is being built with the help of a $1 billion capital budget that includes $500 million from state and federal government sources.
“We’re a small city and we’re committed to being a great city,” said Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who is also president of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team.
“This is a great time to be a part of our future.”
The Charlotte SkyArena, which is being called the NBA’s “largest and best” arena, will be the biggest arena in the world and will include the Barclays and Thomas & Johnson arenas.
The arena will have seating for a combined 1,100,000, a practice court for basketball and hockey and a full-court court for concerts and other events.
Charlotte will pay a $100,00 annual rent to the NBA.
The team’s owner, the NBA, has said it will have about $1,000 million in debt.
The NBA’s new arena is expected to be completed in 2027.
Charlotte City Council President Bruce Carter said the city and the NBA will discuss the arena lease during the first quarter of 2019.
“The sky’s the limit,” Carter said.
“It’s going to be an extraordinary experience.”