INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The NBA’s best will head to Indianapolis in 2021.
The Indiana Pacers will host the 2021 edition of the NBA All-Star Game. It would be the first time Indy has hosted the star-studded event since 1985. Fort Wayne hosted the 1953 edition. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news, which FOX59 has since confirmed.
In November, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Indianapolis was “in the running” for an all-star game and would be a “possibility” for 2021.
In April, Larry Bird, former president of basketball operations for the team, drove an IndyCar to the NBA’s headquarters to deliver the bid for the 2021 game.
Owner Herb Simon told our media partners at the IndyStar that the team has been laying the groundwork for the high-profile event for the last two years. The team sent a group to Toronto and New Orleans to see how those cities handled the game and all the events surrounding it.
“On behalf of all of us at Pacers Sports & Entertainment, I am delighted that the NBA is entrusting us with NBA All-Star 2021 and we look forward to putting on a week of events that highlights the city that I love and meets the league’s expectations,” said Simon.
Indianapolis will follow Los Angeles in 2018, Charlotte in 2019 and Chicago in 2020 as All-Star host. The NBA All-Star Game will be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the first time.
The Pacers held the announcement Wednesday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, team owner Herb Simon, Gov. Eric Holcomb, Mayor Joe Hogsett, Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard and Pacers Sports and Entertainment President and COO Rick Fuson spoke.
“We are thrilled with the NBA’s decision to bring its showcase event, the NBA All-Star Game, to Indianapolis in 2021,” said Holcomb. “No state nurtures and loves the game of basketball more than Indiana, and I am certain that my fellow Hoosiers will embrace the game and related events with uncommon passion and support.”
NBA All-Star 2021 on-court events at Bankers Life Fieldhouse will include top rookies and second-year players in the Rising Stars on Friday, Feb. 12, followed the next day by the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the JBL Three-Point Contest and the Verizon Slam Dunk during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night.
On Sunday, TNT will be televising the All-Star Game in prime time for the 19th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 36th year of All-Star coverage.