The McDonald’s All-American Game will be played in the United Center up until 2015, with an option for the 2016 game.
The event saw many different hosts starting from the year 1979, before settling in the windy city in 2011. Chicago hoops fans set a record for attendance in 2011, and remained strong for the 2012 game. The game has never been played in the same city 2 years in a row until 2011, so this deal has given the event a chance at establishing a somewhat permanent home.
“This is a historic day for the McDonalds All American Games” said event director Douglas Freeland in an interview with chicagonow.com, “Fans throughout the US can now make Chicago their destination to see the greatest high school basketball players participate in this annual rite of passage.”
The event, which has been televised on ESPN since 1998, features an All-Star game, as well as a three-point shootout and a dunk contest. Previous MVPs of the game include Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard.
Reaching the game is the pinnacle for high school basketball stars, as it provides many of them with their first experience receiving exposure on national television. For most of these players, the game pushes them into the national spotlight, a place that they will certainly become accustomed to moving forward.
Chicago sports fans have proved time and time again that they are some of the most dedicated enthusiasts in the country. Their overwhelming support of this highly touted event has given them the opportunity to host the game for years to come. The way I see it, if the Cubs can sell out games in Chicago, I’m confident that an event showing the most talented young basketball players in the country won’t have a problem selling tickets.
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