Indianapolis isn’t likely to host the 2021 NBA All-Star Game at its scheduled date in mid-February because of the pandemic, the Indiana Pacers announced Monday afternoon.
The team did not say whether the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities that are scheduled for Feb. 12-14 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse will be postponed or called off altogether.
“We have been working with the NBA since 2017 to bring our fans and our city this world-class event, just as we did when we last hosted in 1985,” Rick Fuson, president and chief operating officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said on the organization’s website. “While it appears NBA All-Star 2021 is unlikely to happen on Presidents’ Day weekend, we are excited about continuing to collaborate with the NBA as we look to the future.”
The Pacers and Indy’s All-Star Game host committee have been planning a major slate of activities in conjunction with the annual game.
Pacers officials could not be reached for immediate comment. But both the league and the Indiana Pacers confirmed Monday that downtown Indianapolis hotel room blocks reserved for the event have been canceled.
“Given the uncertainty surrounding the schedule for the 2020-21 NBA season, we and the Indiana Pacers informed our hotel partners in Indianapolis that NBA All-Star 2021 is unlikely to take place on Presidents’ Day weekend so they could make other arrangements,” the NBA said in a written statement. “More information about next season’s schedule, including NBA All-Star, will be announced at a later date.”
The NBA tentatively plans on beginning next season in December.
The news came on the first day of the NBA playoffs at the Walt Disney World complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida — where the league is attempting to finish the season without fans in the stands and in a so-called bubble where players and others are tested for coronavirus daily.
The NBA lost 14% of its regular season games this season because of the pandemic, which prompted a 4-1/2 month shutdown from March 11 through July 30.
Local officials have said the economic impact of All-Star weekend on Indianapolis could have reached $100 million.