Indianapolis may have missed out on its opportunity to host the All-Star weekend this season, but the league has already finalized plans to return to the city.
The NBA officially called off the All-Star game and other festivities during the annual weekend this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic — something it was long expected to do.
The league is currently working on “plans for a revised NBA All-Star 2021.”
“Public health conditions prevented the Pacers, the NBA All-Star Host Committee and the NBA from appropriately planning and executing fan-focused All-Star activities in Indianapolis that were envisioned for this February,” the league said in a statement.
So, to make it up to the city, the NBA has granted Indianapolis the 2024 All-Star Game — which will mark the first time the game has gone to the city since 1985.
2024 is the next available date on the league’s All-Star calendar. Cleveland is set to host next year, and Salt Lake City will play host in 2023.
"While we are disappointed that the NBA All-Star Game will not take place in Indianapolis in 2021, we are looking forward to the Pacers and the city hosting the game and surrounding events in 2024," commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
The NBA is planning to kick off the 72-game 2020-21 season on Dec. 22 after what will be the shortest offseason in league history. Teams are currently working to determine how to safely play games in their respective arenas this season while the league finalizes team schedules. Some teams will play in empty arenas while others will allow a specific number of fans in. The Toronto Raptors are relocating to Tampa, Florida, due to international travel restrictions, too.
There have been more than 12.7 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Wednesday afternoon, according to The New York Times, and more than 260,000 deaths attributed to it. The country repeatedly set new single day records last week, and is now averaging more than 175,500 new cases a day over the past week.
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