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Excitement builds for NBA All-Star Game and city’s growth

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A major announcement on Wednesday is welcoming not only for sports fans, but also for businesses.

In a press conference held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers organization officials, city leaders and NBA officials gathered to discuss details of the 2021 NBA All-Star Game that will take place in the Circle City.

Securing a major sporting event like the NBA All-Star Game isn't easy. It's been more than 30 years since Indianapolis has hosted this event.

Organizations like the Indiana Sports Corp are charged with putting together packages to showcase what Indy has to offer for sporting events.

Sports marketing experts say Indy's walkability, restaurants, hotels, and nightlife put us ahead of other major cities.

"What Indy’s done over the years is establishing itself as a major sports town, not only hosting long playoff runs by the Pacers and Colts, hosting the Indy 500 every year," explained Jesse Ghiorzi, Director of Brand Strategy for Charge.

Ghiorzi said while thousands will attend the game, even more people will come into town to check out what the city has to offer.

"People are coming into town for the game and they won't even go to the game. They'll be having meetings with sponsors or players or other big companies," he said.

The NBA All-Star Game is the perfect opportunity to Indy to attract even more major sporting events and conferences in the future.

A good track record of pulling off major events is one reason Indy secured The All-Star Game in February 2021, the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four in April 2021, The Big Ten Football Championship Game in December 2021, and The College Football Playoff Championship Game in January 2022.

These events will bring huge boosts to local businesses across central Indiana.

"Certainly, there’s the transactional part that helps all the restaurants hotels and the bars an generates a lot more activity from people," said Maureen Krauss, Chief Economic Development Officer for Indy Chamber.

Along with temporary success in terms of more customers buying goods, there's also the long-term benefits of employers considering moving their business to Indy.

"People who realize coming here, it’s a great quality of life, a great sense of place, and that really impacts our ability to bring talented people in all different levels of skill sets," Krauss said.