It’s going on 30 years since the state of Indiana hosted the 1985 NBA All-Star game. Over that time, Indiana has played host to five NCAA men’s basketball Final Fours and championship games, two Big Ten football championship games, a Super Bowl and countless other big-name sporting events. It’s time the NBA allows Indiana and the Indiana Pacers to host another All-Star weekend.
Hosting any big-time sporting event is an honor, and since Indiana is the basketball center of the world, it’s only natural that one of the biggest basketball events be held there. The Pacers have also become a national darling and championship contender, which puts them above some of the announced teams who will be hosting, namely the New Orleans Pelicans.
New York and Brooklyn are understandable selections, especially since Brooklyn just built a new, $100 million arena. But when you think of Toronto, you don’t get that NBA All-Star vibe, which is how people viewed Indianapolis prior to their successful hosting of the 2012 Super Bowl.
The media raved that Indianapolis was one of the greatest Super Bowl host cities of all time. To be fair, it was rather warm for an Indiana February and it didn’t snow, so the city got extremely lucky. But that is the chance you take with cold weather cities, and hosts can only pray that it doesn’t end up like the Dallas Disaster of 2011.
With Lucas Oil Stadium able to hold around 70,000 fans, the NBA could hold the Friday and Saturday festivities at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and then the All-Star Game at Lucas Oil. This plan is in line with what the NBA did last year in Houston, where the game was held at the Dallas Cowboys‘ stadium and there were easily twice as many tickets sold for the game than the other events.
Indianapolis plans on making a run at hosting the 2018 Super Bowl, so it makes sense for them to make a run at the 2017 NBA All-Star weekend. And based on Indy’s track record, allowing them to host the NBA All-Star game can only be a good thing for the NBA.