Have your passport ready by 2016….
The NBA is taking the All-Star Game to Toronto, according to Ryan Wolstat (a very respectable source) of the Toronto Sun.
Multiple sources told the Toronto Sun Tuesday that the Raptors are on the verge of landing the 2016 NBA all-star weekend.
An official announcement is expected within the next week that will reveal further details of how one of the sport’s biggest weekends will tie in to the Toronto Raptors’ 20th-anniversary season.
Another connection to remember is that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (which owns the Raptors) brought in Tim Leiweke as CEO earlier this year. Leiweke was the guy who helped get the Staples Center built (when he worked for AEG) and brought two All-Star Games to Los Angeles. He gets the impact they can have on a city.
Leiweke had also floated the idea of a name and uniform change, all of which could come that year. Just something to watch.
Cleveland was considered the other main contender for 2016, but they could land another of the upcoming games.
The 2014 All-Star Game is in New Orleans, then in 2015 Brooklyn and New York are sharing the event (reportedly Friday and Saturday’s events will be in Brooklyn with the main game at Madison Square Garden, but that is not set yet).
It will not exactly be warm in Toronto in February, but New York breaks the string of warm weather cities (Houston last year, before that in order it was Orlando, Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Houston). That said, Toronto is one of the more fun and cosmopolitan cities in the NBA (plus a 2.6 million population, it’s a big market) and should make a great host.