Cleveland puts in bid to host 2018 NBA All-Star Game

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There’s been a transformation in Cleveland — both on the court with the Cavaliers (hastened by the return of prodigal son LeBron James) and in downtown Cleveland, which has gone from the butt of late night comedy jokes to a place that produces an Iron Chef.

Now the powers that be want to show it all off.

The Cavaliers have thrown their hat in the ring, making a bid for the 2018 All-Star Game, reports Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Cavaliers Chief Executive Officer Len Komoroski and President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission David Gilbert both confirmed to Northeast Ohio Media Group that the bid has been placed….

The return of LeBron James certainly helps, and in March for the first time the city will host the regional semifinals and finals of the 2015 NCAA basketball tournament. Cleveland also was awarded the Republican National Convention in 2016.

The NBA has opened up bidding for both the 2017 and 2018 All-Star Games. It is known that Portland and Charlotte have put in bids for that window as well, and other cities may well have done so also just without all the fanfare. (It makes a lot of sense for middle-to-smaller market cities making a bid to let it be known and say to their fan base “look, we’re a big time city, too.”)

The NBA has a lot of criteria for hosting an All-Star Game including hotel rooms near the arena, convention space to host the NBA All-Star Jam Session (the fan fest), plus room for all the other events.

The 2015 All-Star Game is in New York and the 2016 game will be in Toronto. A decision on at least 2017 is expected the first part of next year.