Monday December 4, 2023

Fans Ignore NBA’s Plea to Watch ASG from Home

  • The NBA and Atlanta Mayor have asked fans to not travel to the city or go to All-Star Game events this weekend.
  • Many fans, from all indications, are ignoring those requests.
Photo: Jason Getz-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks
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The NBA is finding out that when it comes to the All-Star Game, you can’t have it both ways.

The league stated that Sunday’s star-studded game is a TV event, there will be no NBA-sanctioned events open to the public, and that fans should not travel to Atlanta. That request is falling on deaf ears. 

A search on Eventbrite for “All-Star Game Party” turns up around 700 events this weekend in Atlanta. The NBA sent over 100 cease-and-desist letters to event promoters using its name and logo.

The numerous gatherings are in direct opposition to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ statement telling nightlife establishments “not to host events in the city related to this game.”

The weekend has also put Mayor Bottoms at odds with local businesses hoping for a surge of customers after a challenging year.

Todd Schneider, whose company owns a Ferris wheel in Atlanta, told Bloomberg that he was excited to have the game coming to his city. “Next I hear the mayor say, ‘But don’t come.’ That’s painful,” he said.

A number of NBA players were publicly unenthusiastic about health risks the game could present to players and fans — though those grumbles have faded in recent weeks, and the league is implementing extensive health and safety protocols.

One sure winner of the game will be its broadcaster, TNT, which could take in around $24 million in ad and sponsorship deals, by one estimate.

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