NEW YORK — With Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Larry Bird at the wheel of a specially themed IndyCar, Pacers Sports & Entertainment today officially delivered its bid for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game to NBA Headquarters in midtown Manhattan.
Bird piloted the IndyCar down five blocks of Fifth Avenue and handed off the bid documents to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at the league offices.
“I’m proud and honored to make this special delivery on behalf of our owner, Herb Simon, the city of Indianapolis, the state of Indiana, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and our other bid partners,” said Bird. “We know that competition for the All-Star Game is highly competitive, but we are hopeful that this demonstrates how Indianapolis routinely and uniquely set itself apart when it comes to hosting major sporting events.”
Because of the competitive nature of the bid process, the bid partners cannot disclose specifics with regard to the bid or which venues will be used for the various events, including the game.
“If we are so fortunate to be successful, we will then be able to share many of the particular elements of our bid to stage the NBA All-Star Game and Weekend and its many ancillary events,” said PS&E President and COO Rick Fuson. “The economic impact and national and international exposure for Indianapolis and Indiana will result in a significant return, estimated to be well in excess of $100 million.”
Fuson said that the NBA All-Star effort will be privately and publicly funded and that Pacers owner Herb Simon already has committed to making a significant contribution.
Fuson also said the bid will include local and statewide outreach and a legacy project. Bid planners hope to integrate the NBA All-Star Weekend with the Indiana High School Athletic Association Girls and Boys Championships, the 2021 Big Ten Women’s Tournament and the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four for a “celebration of basketball” that would last from mid-February through the first weekend in April.
“We believe we can make Indiana the undisputed basketball capital of the world during that time,” Fuson said. The Indiana Sports Corporation, Visit Indy, the City of Indianapolis and the State of Indiana are assisting PS&E in the bid. The NBA is expected to select the host city sometime later this year.