Indianapolis to Host 2021 NBA All-Star GameBy Connor Lynch
Indianapolis has won the right to host the 2021 NBA All-Star game. In a Wednesday announcement at the Pacers’ Bankers Field Life Stadium, Commissioner Adam Silver gave the city it’s first all-star game since 1985.
Via The Washington Post, he said:
“A lot has changed since we last came here for an All-Star Game in the 1980s. Then, it really was the All-Star Game, one day or one game. What it has truly become now is an All-Star week of activities.”
Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said “We’re going to put on a great show.”
In spite of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird being instrumental in delivering Indianapolis’s successful bid, He said:
“Back in 1985, there wasn’t nearly as much to it. Now, the All-Star game is spectacle. Every venue we have downtown will be full. People will be excited, I think it will be fantastic. I know how much work and time people put into this, behind the scenes.”
In 1985, the All-Star game was played in the Hoosier Stadium. Apparently, there were conversations about holding the 2021 game at the Lucas Oil Stadium to sell more tickets. However, Adam Silver said the game should be held in a basketball venue.
“The feeling is that we’re more an arena sport than a dome sport,” he said. “There’s no doubt we could sell out a dome, but we like the intimacy of being at Bankers Life. We belong in an arena. It’s where the team plays. We want people to be close to the game.”
Larry Bird has called for the game to be a great spectacle. “It’s the best players we have,” he said.
“They should go hard for the time they’re out there playing. Dunking, no defense, scoring 180 points is not what people want to see. It’s up to the players to bring the game back to what the people want to see,”
Indianapolis won the 2021 All-Star game at the expense of Cleveland. Cleveland will now hope to host the game in 2022.
This February, the All-Star game will be played in Los Angeles. Charlotte and Chicago will host it in 2019 and 2020.