Atlanta may get a surprise sports boost this year.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are discussing an All-Star Game in the city in March during the league’s midseason break, according to ESPN.
The original All-Star weekend was planned for Feb. 12-14 in Indianapolis, but was canceled in November due to the pandemic and the league’s shifting schedule.
Atlanta is home to NBA broadcast partner Turner Sports, which likely wants to move forward with one of its tentpole events in the same way ESPN wanted the season to start in time for Christmas Day games. As an added bonus, it could pull off the broadcast without needing employees to travel.
The originally scheduled game would have provided Indianapolis with a significant financial windfall.
- The economic impact was projected to reach $100 million with the help of roughly 6,700 hotel rooms expected to be booked downtown alone.
- After the cancellation, the NBA locked in the city as the host of 2024 All-Star Weekend.
If there does end up being a game in Atlanta — also the scheduled location of the 2021 MLB All-Star Game — the city will not see the same numbers as a typical year.
“Talks are centered on a stripped-down All-Star Game scenario that would largely be focused on the game — with little in the way of fan-related experiences, if any,” ESPN reported.
The game could also include showcases and fundraising opportunities for Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as COVID-19 relief. Both the Atlanta Hawks’ State Farm Arena and Atlanta-based HBCU campus gyms are reportedly being considered as the host site.