Heard anything lately about the NBA’s European additions? Well let’s first start thinking about the 2011 All-Star game! Rumors have spread since the weekend in New Orleans about the 2011 game taking place in London’s O2 Arena. A delegation from Events for London were present this past weekend and have already initiated some informal discussions.
The London Telegraph:
Last October, an exhibition friendly game between the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves at the O2 sold a capacity 18,000 tickets within hours of going on sale and there is the likelihood of more friendly games this autumn. NBA commissioner David Stern was full of praise for the London venue. He said: “The O2 Arena we played in London is an NBA-ready arena.”
There have also been informal talks between Events for London and the NBA about the prospect of a regular season game being staged in the capital in 2009.
The 2009 All Star game is to be held in Phoenix with an announcement for the 2010 venue imminent – Boston has been mooted as a candidate.
Events for London would like to host the game in 2011 or 2012 as part of their bid for high-profile events in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics.
Stern said: “We are making an announcement in the next couple of weeks or months about 2010. After that we are open. There is no time frame [for London] but the 2012 [Olympics] is interesting.
“There is a shorter, smaller circle of franchises and cities that can bid or want to bid for the All Star game. I think we’re going to be on a tighter rotation over the next decade or so of fewer NBA cities – or non-NBA cities – but our guests, and media, I promise will enjoy it.”
For the growth of the NBA a trip to London is probably a good thing, but what if I wanted to attend the 2011 All-Star game? I guess I better work on that passport!