The NBA announced Monday that Toronto was selected to host the 2016 All-Star Game.
Deputy commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto joined by: Michael Chan, minister of tourism, culture and sport; Toronto mayor Rob Ford; chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Larry Tanenbaum; Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke; Toronto Raptors president & general manager Masai Ujiri; and Grammy Award-winning artist Drake.
The All-Star Game will be played outside the U.S. for the first time on Feb. 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Raptors.
"We are thrilled that Toronto is hosting our first NBA All-Star Game outside the United States," Silver said in a statement. "As the site of the first game ever in the NBA, Toronto is an ideal location for this global basketball celebration."
Toronto was awarded an NBA franchise in 1993 and began play in 1995.
"Twenty years ago to this day, the city of Toronto was awarded an NBA franchise. It is fitting that on this day we're able to celebrate a global achievement as the first international host of the NBA All-Star Game," Tanenbaum said in a statement. "We have the best fans in the NBA and the 2016 NBA All-Star Game will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate, and continue to grow, basketball in this country."
The All-Star weekend in 2016 begins Feb. 12 with the All-Star Celebrity Game and the Rising Stars Challenge, a game featuring the NBA's top rookies and second-year players.
Feb. 13 festivities will include: an all-inclusive skills showcase made up of the Shooting Stars, a competition featuring NBA, WNBA and former NBA players; the Skills Challenge, a contest of top guards working against the clock to complete a series of passes, free throws, layups and agility drills; the Three-Point Contest; and the Slam Dunk Contest.
A pregame concert will be held before the 65th All-Star Game. The contest will be broadcast in 215 countries and territories, and in more than 40 languages.