Indianapolis making bid for 2021 NBA All Star game


INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Indianapolis is going for the 2021 NBA All Star Game. Pacers President Larry Bird is in New York city delivering the bid.

Indy is one of 12 cities hoping to snag the game. The last time Indianapolis hosted was 1985, a game was held at the Hoosier Dome (later renamed the RCA Dome).

Larry Bird played in that game for the Boston Celtics. Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson were among the other big-name All Stars.

Visit Indy's Chris Gahl said the Pacers and city leaders have been doing the legwork on the bid for two years. Gahl said game has evolved into something much bigger since Indy last hosted.

"It's truly a weekend-long event culminating the with game," Gahl said. "There's the three point shoot-out, the slam dunk competition, lots of live concerts. It's so more than just a game."

He said it calls for using both Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium, which could hold up to 80,000 fans. The Convention Center would host the NBA Fan Fest.

Like the 2012 Super Bowl, there would be a cost to both the Pacers and the city for hosting the All Star game, a cost that easily hit $10 million, but Gahl said there's also a big pay-off.

"It's game that could tally $100 million in economic impact by the time we host 2021," he said. "There are 3,000 media, all the A-list celebrities. It's got all the making of a really good and great event for the city."

Gahl said the NBA is expected to name the winning city by October of this year.