NBA fans in the state of Indiana have not had a lot to get excited about in recent years. However, that is set to change. It was just announced that the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis will host its first NBA All-Star game in 2021. There had been rumors circulating for quite some time that Indiana might be awarded the All-Star game from the NBA. However, nothing was made official until recently. It has been a very long time since Indiana last hosted an NBA All-Star game. That was way back in 1985 when it was held in the old Hoosier Dome.
The Indiana Pacers have played very well this season. They have been one of the surprise stories in the NBA. So NBA fans in Indiana can feel good for two reasons. It is a very big deal for a city to be awarded the All-Star game in a major sport. It creates a big boost for the local economy in the weeks leading up to the event. Local restaurants and hotels can benefit greatly from all the additional people coming to town. Unfortunately, 2012 is still a very long time from now.
The governor of Indiana and the mayor of Indianapolis both said a few weeks ago that they were hopeful about the NBA All-Star game being awarded to the city. However, both were cautiously optimistic when they were asked if they thought it would really happen. Both said there are a lot of politics involved in that sort of decision.
Indianapolis has developed a reputation for being one of the best cities in the Midwest to host big sporting events. The city did an excellent job with the Super Bowl in 2012 and the Final Four in 2015. The attendance records set two years ago helped Indianapolis land another Final Four in 2021. City officials just learned today that they will be hosting another huge event that same year. The NBA has officially announced that the 2021 All-Star game will be held in Indianapolis.
This will be the first time that the Indiana Pacers get to host the NBA All-Star game since 1985. Many experts expected the prestigious game to get awarded to the city of Cleveland, but the NBA clearly wanted to reward the passionate Pacers fans. The beautiful new renovations to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the city’s reputation as an excellent event destination certainly did not hurt either.
The Pacers front office worked tirelessly over the last few years to get this honor. The team sent several members of staff to the All-Star games in Toronto and New Orleans the last two years to improve their pitch to the NBA. They also had Larry Bird officially announce the Pacers’ desire to host the game by driving a race car to the NBA headquarters earlier this year.
The exact date of the game has not been announced, but the NBA traditionally holds the All-Star game in mid-February. In addition to the game, Indianapolis will also get to host the celebrity game, dunk contest and several other exciting events during the same weekend.