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New Orleans Looks To "Set Itself Apart" As NBA All-Star Host

More than 50,000 visitors are "expected to descend" on New Orleans this weekend for NBA All-Star-related festivities. Organizers are pushing for the city to "set itself apart from all previous cities" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 2/12). NBA Dir of Events Adi Wilk estimates attendance higher, at 80,000-90,000 for the weekend. More than 40 truckloads of new equipment have been installed in and around Smoothie King Arena, including "23 cameras that can provide 360-degree views" (THEADVOCATE.com, 2/14).

Jam Session begins Friday at 4:00pm CT, and attendees "will be given wristbands" with RFID tags that "allow them to photograph, track and share their experiences." adidas will operate a pop-up shop in the French Quarter; Foot Locker and Nike are turning the Canal Street Foot Locker store into the "House of Hoops"; Ciroc will turn the House of Blues into "Club ene-be-a" for a night (THEADVOCATE.com, 2/11).

NBA team owners and their guests Friday will attend a welcome party at Contemporary Arts Center, where they will arrive to a red carpet and be "greeted by a pair of giant cast concrete pelicans" (New Orleans ADVOCATE, 2/14).

The inaugural Bud Light District next to Smoothie King Arena will host private parties and concerts throughout the weekend (NBA). Trail Blazers G Damien Lillard and Wizards G John Wall are hosting an "adidas-sponsored party" at the House of Blues on Saturday (OREGONLIVE.com, 2/12).

ESPN3.com will offer live coverage of the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Basketball Game on Sunday at 2:00pm ET (ESPN). 
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