Commissioner Adam Silver on Indy hosting All-Star Weekend: ‘The ball is in their court’

Adam Silver sitting with NCAA President Mark Emmert at the 2016 NCAA Women's Title Game.

Adam Silver sitting with NCAA President Mark Emmert at the 2016 NCAA Women’s Title Game.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was in Indianapolis Tuesday night and he dined with Indiana Pacers executives prior to the 2016 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship game between No. 1 Connecticut and No. 4 Syracuse.

Silver arrived at his seat in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, first row at mid-court, next to NCAA President Mark Emmert minutes before team introductions.

“This visit is not related to the Pacers, maybe related to the Fever in a way,” Silver told VigilantSports.com at halftime of the title game.

“I’m here to support women’s basketball. I’m here with Lisa Borders, our new president of the WNBA, so we’re here to do a little bit of scouting, watch a great game. Also, support Geno Auriemma, who is our USA Basketball coach as well. And, just have the opportunity to see a great championship.”

It’s no secret that the Pacers want to host another NBA All-Star Game. They first did so back in 1985, and Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Rick Fuson, who was one of several Indy representatives in Toronto for All-Star Weekend 2015,  has thoroughly looked into the possibility.

“We’ve look at (hosting it) from time-to-time. We looked at it pretty seriously a couple of years ago,” Fuson said in late February on our Pacers Podcast. “… As we looked down at the schedule and we look at some things in maybe 2019 or 2020 … we said, “OK, maybe it’d be the right time to do it.”

The next two All-Star games are already set. 2017 will be in Charlotte and 2018 in Los Angeles, so 2019 is the first open slot.

Two representatives from both Visit Indy and Indiana Sports Corp. joined Fuson on the trip to Toronto to see exactly what it takes to host in today’s landscape. “This has to be a collective decision,” Fuson added.

Silver was previously in Indianapolis in mid-December for the franchise’s groundbreaking ceremony of their new $50 million practice facility, the St. Vincent Center.

“I’ve said it before, Indianapolis was built to host big events and we’d love to come back here for All-Star (Weekend),” Silver said.

The economic impact for Indianapolis hosting an All-Star Weekend is estimated to be between $70 to $100 million.

“We have the greatest volunteer base,” Fuson said, speaking highly of his hometown. “I think we have the greatest downtown, bar none, and we have a trained group of folks in different generations who can put these events on better than anyone else.”

Prior to Tuesday’s game, Silver discussed the All-Star possibility over dinner with Pacers Vice Chairman Jim Morris and Fuson.

“Jim Morris, Rick Fuson, and I chatted about it over dinner tonight before the game,” Silver told VigilantSports.com. “They’ve let it be known how interested they are, and they know how the process works in terms of submitting a formal bid.

“The ball is in their court. They know we’d love to be here.”

The bidding process is ongoing, but the league would likely prefer to have an idea of cities seriously interested in hosting by late spring or early summer.

LISTEN: Rick Fuson, Tamika Catchings on the Vigilant Sports Pacers Podcast

2 Responses to Commissioner Adam Silver on Indy hosting All-Star Weekend: ‘The ball is in their court’
  1. Danny Bridges
    April 6, 2016 | 4:43 pm

    Game needs to be at Lucas Oil Stadium with all the other activities at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
    Too bad the commissioner wasn’t dining with Walsh and Bird. They are the ones to make it happen.

    • Scott Agness
      April 6, 2016 | 11:59 pm

      That will likely be the case, although it’s too early to say officially. In 1985, the game was at the Hoosier Dome.

      Also, Larry was at the game so it’s likely that they talked as well.

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