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By Brooke Sopelsa

The NBA has decided to hold its 2017 All-Star Game in New Orleans, the league announced Friday. The marquee game will be played on Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Smoothie King Center -- home of the New Orleans Pelicans.

“New Orleans is a world-class destination for sports and entertainment and we are very appreciative that the city is once again hosting our All-Star festivities,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

New Orleans replaces Charlotte, which was set to host the game until the NBA decided last month it wouldn't hold the event in North Carolina because of a state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

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The NBA's decision to hold the All-Star game in Louisiana will be a much-needed economic boost for the state, which has been subjected to disastrous flooding that's killed at least 13 people and damaged approximately 40,000 homes.

“Even in the midst of a historic crisis, I am excited that the NBA has recognized how great the City of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana are,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said.

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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an LGBTQ rights organization, applauded the NBA's decision.

“By moving the 2017 All-Star Game to New Orleans, the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver have sent a clear message to lawmakers in North Carolina and across the country that discrimination against LGBTQ people has consequences and will not be tolerated,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “New Orleans' explicit LGBTQ non-discrimination protections will ensure all NBA employees, players, and fans who participate in the All-Star Game are protected from discrimination."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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