Can all-star hoops game survive?

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After the Indiana vs. Kentucky All-Star basketball games at Conseco Fieldhouse June 13, drew only 5,097 spectators, some within the local hoops community are calling for changes.

Sports marketers said moving the game from Saturday to Friday hurt attendance. Others suggested the game needs to be moved to Hinkle Fieldhouse, or another more cozy venue. Broader advertising and hiring an event coordinator to oversee the annual contests are also ideas being floated to revive the games.

Pete Smith, the coach at Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville, is stepping down after one year as the game’s director. He said his successor will face significant challenges in breathing new life into the game which drew more than 13,000 as recently as 2000.

David Morton, president of local sports marketing firm Sunrise Sports Group, thinks the Indianapolis Star, which runs the game, needs to change its mindset to put the all-star game back on its feet.

“They need to hire an event director to help guide them through their challenges with this,” Morton said. “They need to start by broadening their advertising and marketing and find sponsors that will be active promoters and put this game back on solid footing.”

What changes do you think are needed to help this storied annual event survive?

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