Teams are beginning to put in bids for the 2017 and 2018 NBA All-Star Games as the league sets its calendar for future years. The league has already awarded the 2015 All-Star Game to Brooklyn/New York and the 2016 game to Toronto. Plus, now the league has extended the All-Star Break to a week long. No word yet if the date of the game or any of its festivities will change (it likely will remain at just a weekend).
Orlando has hosted two All-Star Games — 1992 and 2012. The event was great for the city and enabled it to show off the Amway Center. The city was buzzing or “on fire” as Dwight Howard described it at the time.
A Magic spokesman said the Magic are still planning to bid for future All-Star Games. There would not be a public announcement like recent bids from Charlotte and Portland. The spokesman also did not specify whether the team would bid for 2017 or 2018.
The city and the Magic, however, have made it no secret they would like the All-Star Game to return. They believe their plans to build an entertainment complex on property they have acquired across the street from Amway Center will add to the presentation and bid for the city to get its third All-Star Game. David Stern had also said he envisioned Orlando being part of a general All-Star rotation.
Of course, you still have to get awarded the game and there are lots of cities with dreams of hosting the NBA’s marquee in-season event — with all the parties and attention that come with it too.
Portland is the latest city to put in a bid for the All-Star Game.
The Blazers’ Moda Center is one of the oldest in the league, but there is undoubtedly a lot of passion in that city for their sports teams — watch a Timbers game in addition to Blazers games — and it is a growing market. As Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com reports, the Blazers are also using a new convention center as a centerpiece of their plan.
It is a very similar bid to a potential Magic bid. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reported in September of last year the Magic would make a bid for the 2017 All-Star Game. The key difference between Orlando and Portland is the lack of centrally located hotel space. Orlando has that in gobs and gobs. Portland hopes their new convention center complex will cure that issue.
The other city that has apparently entered the fray is Charlotte, submitting its bid for the 2017 or 2018 All-Star Game on Tuesday.
The Hornets franchise is going through a major rebranding and has generated some positive buzz (pun intended) in the Queen City. With a relatively new arena and a young franchise seemingly ready to burst onto the scene for a sustained Playoff run, it is an organization that should be getting a lot of attention in the coming years.
An All-Star Game would be a great way to top off a really strong period of sustained growth for Charlotte. It has become quite the metropolis in the South in recent years. And they have hosted major events too, having the Republican National Convention come in during the run up to the 2012 Presidential Election.
The NBA will likely make its decision regarding the 2017 and 2018 All-Star hosts in February of next year during All-Star festivities.