Has The NBA Made It Harder For Small Markets To Host An All Star Game?

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Mac McClung of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots during the slam dunk competition of the NBA basketball All-Star weekend Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rob Gray)

There may be a new set of requirements that will be imposed to make it difficult for some cities to get the game.

Does the National Basketball Association have set rules for cities that might want one of its crown jewel events, the NBA All-Star Game? According to a report from the Oklahoma City newspaper, The Oklahoman, the NBA has set a standard that most small markets cannot attain for the event. According to the NBA, The Oklahoman report is not necessarily true. The report claimed there were three league requirements for a city to host an All-Star Game. A city or market needed 7,250 hotel rooms and at least three, five-star hotels. A city or a market needed a convention center with no less than 650,000 square feet of space. A city or a market needed an airport with at least 75 domestic nonstop flights and 20 international flights. Some NBA markets fall short of those requirements. San Francisco and Los Angeles will be hosting the 2025 and 2026 games respectively.

The next available event is in 2027 and there are still four NBA markets that have never hosted an NBA All Star Game. Oklahoma City, Portland, Memphis, and Sacramento. In sports, a market is rewarded when local politicians come up with hundreds of millions of dollars for a new arena. Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt has made a massive commitment of at least $850 million to build the local owner, Clayton Bennett, a new arena. That is the kind of commitment that gets the league commissioner and league owners attention. A publicly funded arena where the local owner has to put up just $50 million. Sacramento, Minneapolis, Memphis, Milwaukee and Oklahoma City are among the NBA cities that fall short of the reported requirements. Throw in Indianapolis, Charlotte, Cleveland, and Detroit on that list. The NBA All Star Game is an excuse for a weekend party for rich people who might not want to suffer travel inconveniences.

Oklahome City

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