Indiana Pacers v Toronto Raptors

Year in, year out, the NBA’s All-Star weekend leaves basketball fans in Toronto wondering when it will be their turn to see the league’s marquee regular season event up close. On Sunday night, we may have gotten an answer.

COO Tom Anselmi confirmed to the Toronto Sun on Sunday that MLSE has put in a bid for the 2016 All-Star game after Doug Smith first reported the possibility earlier in the day.

While the process will be drawn out and we don’t know how many other cities will bid, I honestly can’t see the NBA passing on Toronto. The Association is all about growing the game internationally, Toronto would present the first chance to hold the All-Star festivities outside of the U.S., it’s one of the four biggest markets in the league and hasn’t hosted yet, and there might not be any competition from other mega cities (with all due respect to Cleveland, who is also in the running) since New York/Brooklyn will host in 2015 and Los Angeles just hosted in 2011 (For what it’s worth though, Chicago hasn’t hosted since 1988 and Boston hasn’t hosted since 1964).

In addition, Smith reported that Toronto bidding for the 2016 game would be “to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the franchise,” which only adds to the case for T.O., even though it will actually be the 21st season in franchise history.

We’re obviously nowhere near the league making any decisions, but if Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Toronto are serious about hosting the NBA All-Star game in 2016, quite frankly, I think we got this.

Comments (28)

  1. Dallas hosted it in 2010

  2. All Star Games are much like a concert.

    Except for the 20,000 people inside the arena enjoying the show nobody cares nor has a routing interest.

    It’s time to end all star games completely. They are all dreadful to watch on TV anachronistic, and meaningless.

    Honour great players with a huge televised ceremony with Hollywood stars and musical acts like the Oscars or Grammys.

    • Yes they are meaningless in comparison to the season, however, it is still exciting and economically beneficial to the host city. Even for the players, you can see how much fun they have playing with other all stars. I enjoy it very much every year, and in my mind if you dont, then dont watch…

    • Yes every year arenas are sold out for the nba all star game and no one enjoys it ? It gives the players a much needed break from travel…media .. Get to bring there familys or guys that dont make the cut get to go home and relax . Not to mention the all star is for kids and trying to grow the game through thier eyes . Sorry but it will never be gone and im glad . I agree with the other guy ….. Just dont watch it

  3. Maybe we’ll have won a playoff series by then.

  4. Would be really exciting to see it happen in Toronto. My best guess is they’ll do it at the Rogers center for better capacity.

  5. I just do not see this happening. Only sir Charles Barkley would support it, and players and stars would potentially boycott the festivities and the game. Too far north and chilly for them.

  6. How is the decision even made as to who gets to host All-Star weekend? There’s been a lot of cities who have gotten it more than once recently.

    Houston, Phoenix, L.A., New Orleans (2014), and New York (2015) will all have had it twice in the last 20 years while there are still cities like Toronto who have never even hosted it once.

    • I think any team can bid to host about 3-4 years in advance, and then I assume the NBA has a decision making panel that makes the final call.

  7. Should we start #LetWigginsDunk2016 then?

  8. It actually will be the 20th season, you’re looking at it too hard.

    ’95-’96 to ’15-’16

    • No, it will actually be the 21st season.

      Just because 1995-2015 equals 20 years, does not mean the 2015-16 season is the 20th season. The 1995-96 season was “Season 1,” not “Season 0.” So if you actually count it out, the 20th season will be 2014-15. If you remember, the Raptors held 15th anniversary celebrations during the 2009-10 season (Bosh’s last year), NOT the 2010-11 season.

  9. The real question is – does Toronto have the capacity to hold an event like this? The first question is in terms of Hotels, then the weather comes in question.

    • I don’t see how hotels could be an issue. Toronto has hotels coming out the wazoo lol.

      Maple Leaf Square
      Four Seasons

    • Is weather that big of an issue? Toronto runs the same risk in terms of weather as the other Northeastern and Midwestern cities.

    • Bruno, dude. You should get yourself to Toronto sometime. It’s the 5th biggest city in North America, after Mexico City (1), NYC, LA, and Chicago. I think it would have enough hotels. It’s almost exactly the same average winter temperature as Chicago (i.e., – 2 celcius. Look it up in Farenheit if you want).

    • Hotel capacity isn’t even a question for Toronto. If it was, then the only cities who could host would probably be NYC and L.A.

      As far as I’ve always understood it, the issue holding Toronto back from making a bid in the past is that the Convention Centre, which would be needed for the Jam Session stuff, has always been occupied by the Auto Show during All-Star weekend. So I’m assuming either the car show will be in a different building in 2016, they’ve thought of another building for the Jam Session, or perhaps it will just be a different weekend than usual.

      • They could just do the Jam Session out at the Ex – that’s what WWE did the last time Wrestlemania was in town. Not convenient (especially as the ASG is two months earlier than WM), but it’s doable.

    • We host the biggest and most important film festival in North America. I think it’s safe to say that putting up Jay Z and Beyonce for a weekend wouldn’t be an issue if they wanted to come up here.

      (I mean, seriously, TIFF is probably ten times bigger than the ASG)

  10. Watch MLSE screw this one up too…..Richard Pettie can’t do anything right.

  11. Toronto doesn’t really fit the recent trend of locations they’ve selected ie warm weather cities, but it’d certainly be cool to have the event in the city. Denver is pretty much the only city in the last decade that could be labelled as a cold weather city.

    • I agree that the NBA All-Star game seems to have shifted to a more warm weather city’s event in recent years, but at the same time, New York will host in 2015, so I think the league is still more than open to a cold weather Northeast city, as long as it’s a big enough market, or I guess as long as league officials can be convinced that the city is up for the challenge.

      Maybe it’s just a Toronto superiority complex on my end, but I’ve always been convinced that when MLSE/Toronto is finally willing to put a bid in, they’ll get the game. As mentioned in the post, I’m pretty confident we got this given the size of the market, the fact we haven’t hosted yet + reputation of the rabid fanbase, and the fact that it’s the NBA’s first chance to hold one outside of the States.

      • New York seems to be the anomaly to everything when it comes to events like these. I mean, they are getting the Super Bowl next year with an open air stadium so when it comes to NYC, I think at a certain point the immense size of the market along with the cache involved outweighs everything else (weather for instance) . Maybe it’s my Canadian inferiority complex kicking in to offset your Toronto superiority complex and I’m not fully comprehending the size of this market but I just don’t think it’s enough to fit what the NBA presently looks for in All-Star host cities even though it seems to be a city many seem to enjoy visiting.

        That second point you made is a great one, the NBA certainly wouldn’t hesitate to pat themselves on the back for 20+ years of success for their first international franchise seeing how much of an emphasis Stern has placed on international expansion. It should be interesting to see if Adam Silver shares that sentiment when he takes over.

      • The issue I think we have is that the All-Star game is now tailored to have black celebrities show up and throw parties (as Simmons put it, it’s the Black Super Bowl). So it’s either in one of the two big coastal cities or a southern market. Everyone shows up and parties, then the game’s an afterthought. Even a craphole like Orlando’s hosted it more recently than Toronto or Chicago.

        And while we’ve got Drake to serve as the hometown ambassador, I don’t know if Toronto’s a place where all those celebs in the front row are going to want to hang out for a winter weekend. NBA players like coming here because, let’s face it, it’s a better road trip than 90% of the cities in the league. But they HAVE to come here, whereas the celebs don’t – at least not during the winter.

        (I know we get tons of celebs for Caribana and TIFF, but, well, it’s not snowing then.)

        Another worry – Stern will want one in Seattle sooner rather than later, and that might take up the “northern market” slot that Toronto would.

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