Indianapolis to host 2021 NBA All-Star Game

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of NBA team the Indiana Pacers, has been awarded hosting rights for the basketball league’s All-Star Game in 2021.

The event will be held at the 18,000-capacity arena on February 14, 2021. It will mark the first time that the arena has hosted the event, although Indianapolis’ Hoosier Dome, former home of NFL team the Indianapolis Colts, staged the game in 1985.

The deal to take the event to Bankers Life Fieldhouse was brokered by Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Indiana Sports Corp. and Visit Indy.

“Indianapolis has an enduring love for basketball that creates a special connection to our All-Star Game,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “I want to especially thank (PS&E owner) Herb Simon for his efforts to bring the All-Star festivities back to Indianapolis as well as acknowledge the strong support we received from Governor Holcomb, Mayor Hogsett, Larry Bird, Rick Fuson and the entire Pacers organisation.”

This year’s NBA All-Star was held at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The event will head to Staples Center (Los Angeles), Spectrum Center (Charlotte) and United Center (Chicago) before Indianapolis plays host in 2021.

Fuson, president and chief operating officer of PS&E, will serve as chairman of the local organising committee for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. The organising committee’s president will be Mel Raines, PS&E’s senior vice-president for facilities operations. Raines played a lead role in Indianapolis’ successful hosting of the NFL’s Super Bowl event in 2012.

Prior to the All-Star Game on February 14, a Rising Stars event will take place on February 12. Other events will include a Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest and Slam Dunk.

Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts’ current home, will also host other events over All-Star weekend, along with the Indiana Convention Center.