Hornets pledge 'full funding' for downtown practice facility above city's $30M investment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The NBA’s Hornets say they are committed to “fully funding” a new practice facility in downtown Charlotte above $30 million to be provided by the city under a revised proposal.

The Hornets, now co-owned by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, are teaming with longtime partner Novant Health to offer a destination for what it called leading-edge sports medicine and orthopedic care as part of the mixed-use practice facility development.

“The new practice facility is the next step as we work toward our vision of building the premier franchise in the NBA and having world class facilities,” the Hornets said in a statement. “We truly appreciate the collaboration and partnership of the City of Charlotte and Charlotte City Council. This plan is a win-win scenario for all parties involved.”

In 2022, the Charlotte City Council approved $275 million for the team’s facilities, which included $215 million for arena renovations and $60 million for a standalone practice facility as part of a deal to keep the team in Charlotte through 2045.

The Hornets are proposing the city redirect half of the original $60 million intended for the practice facility to arena renovations.

City leaders are expected to vote on the new proposal next month.

The new practice facility, an idea which has been in the planning stages for several months, would be built near the Spectrum Center, where the team plays its home games.

The projected completion date is the end of 2026.

The Hornets unveiled plans and renderings for improvements to the Spectrum Center in January. Those plans include adding 2,500 seats to the lower bowl of the arena in 2025, upper concourse enhancements including lighting, signage and concessions, and the transformation of existing club and suites, allowing for hundreds more seats to be inclusive of club amenities.



Steve Reed, The Associated Press