It's NBA All-star weekend again in the Big Easy. President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Jay Cicero says they didn’t have much time to plan because they only found out they were hosting last year. The event was moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, in light of an anti-LGBT law that was enacted last year.
“The fact that the Pelicans and the Sports Foundation had so much experience in putting together host committees and managing the NBA All-star game is one of the main reasons why the commissioner gave New Orleans a chance,” Cicero said.
This is the third time in 9 years that New Orleans has hosted all-star game, which is a record return rate. Cicero says the big game takes place on Sunday in the Smoothie King Center, but there will be plenty of festivities all weekend.
“There’s a practice for the all-stars. There’s a celebrity game that is annually held. That will be held on the floor of the Superdome, as well as the NBA d-league having their game of their superstars,” Cicero said.
Cicero says there’s also the three-point and dunk contests on Saturday night. He says this event had a $106 million economic impact for the state when New Orleans last hosted in 2014. He says even more important is the media exposure, which could have a tremendous impact on tourism.
“This event is broadcast in over 200 countries. TNT is broadcasting a majority of the events all weekend long. It is something that has a high, high value for Louisiana and the city of New Orleans,” Cicero said.