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SBD/September 25, 2013/Events and AttractionsPrint All
The Raptors are "on the verge of landing" the '16 NBA All-Star Weekend for Air Canada Centre, according to sources cited by Ryan Wolstat of the TORONTO SUN. An official announcement is expected "within a week that will reveal further details of how one of the sport’s biggest weekends will tie into Toronto’s 20th-anniversary season." MLSE President & CEO Tim Leiweke "made it clear upon taking over the company that landing the prestigious event was one of his early goals." NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver was in Toronto earlier this month for MLSE Expo, a get-together of MLSE employees, but Leiweke at the time said that Silver "wasn’t around to go over the all-star bid." MLSE began the bid process "last February and Cleveland was considered the other serious contender for the event, which will be held in New Orleans this season" (TORONTOSUN.com, 9/24). The NATIONAL POST's Eric Koreen notes the report "comes at a time when basketball in the city is booming, even if the Raptors are a long way from contention." The only Toronto native "to ever participate in the All-Star Game" was former NBAer Jamaal Magloire, then of the Hornets, in '04. The only Raptors to ever play in the game are G Vince Carter, C Antonio Davis and F Chris Bosh. Raptors G Terrence Ross "won last year’s slam dunk contest" (NATIONAL POST, 9/25). YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Devine wrote this seems like "pretty rad news for a fan base that's too often over the years been treated as an NBA outpost rather than a thriving international destination" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/24).
BITE OF THE APPLE: In N.Y., Nate Taylor writes the NBA today is expected to announce that the market will host the NBA ASG in ’15. Hosting would be "shared by the Knicks and Nets." The game reportedly “would take place at Madison Square Garden” and many of the ancillary events would be held at Barclays Center (N.Y. TIMES, 9/25). The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Chris Herring writes it “makes logical sense for the game to come to New York." MSG's three-phase renovation "should be complete" by '15, and "the glitzy Barclays Center in Brooklyn remains the league’s newest venue” (WSJ.com, 9/24). The '15 event will not mark the first time All-Star Weekend “has been played at split venues.” Dallas' American Airlines Center in ’10 hosted All-Star Saturday events “while the game was played the next night” at AT&T Stadium (ESPN.com, 9/24).
An Izod IndyCar Series road race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May "could become a reality as early as next week," according to Michael Marot of the AP. Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles said that he "expects the board to vote before the end of September" on the proposed race. There are "signs it will happen," as Miles acknowledged the series has "prospects" for potential title sponsors. Drivers also "gave good reviews of the speedway's road course after a test earlier this month." Additionally, with a $100M improvement fund "approved by the Indiana state government earlier this year, speedway officials now have the money to make upgrades." Miles said, "This idea is part of a bigger plan to bring more people out here in May." Miles expects "two or three proposals" to go before the newly appointed Indiana Motorsports Commission in the next month. He said that they "met for the first time last week." One change discussed includes "adding lights around the historic 2.5-mile oval." Miles also has "suggested improving seating and technological services around the track and possibly resurfacing or redoing the road course" (AP, 9/23). In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin wrote admission to the road race "will be a separate ticket" from the Indianapolis 500. Cavin: "IMS officials understand that there has to be affordability, but their definition of it might be different than ours. I’d say $30 for anywhere other than some prime areas in infield stands, but that’s just me" (INDYSTAR.com, 9/23).