CLEVELAND — Northeast Ohio is preparing to welcome some of the NBA’s biggest stars, along with tens of thousands of visitors, for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 20. The weekend will feature events and attractions leading up to the big game Sunday night.
An estimated 2 billion people are expected to consume the All-Star events worldwide. In town, Destination Cleveland anticipates visitors to spend at least $100 million.
“This is the boost our city desperately needs as we try to build the most inclusive comeback we possibly can coming out of this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb in a Jan. 31 press conference.
The administration announced a partnership with the NBA and Cleveland Cavaliers to boost the city’s vaccination rate to 60% by the end of 2022, focusing on areas with lagging vaccination rates and limited access to resources.
Safety and security were also the administration’s reasoning for denying 80 applications for extended liquor sales. Seven hotels will be allowed to stay open and serve alcohol until 4 a.m. All-Star Weekend.
“We really don’t believe, if you look at the big picture, there’s going to be an enormous difference between the amount of spending - whether bars and restaurants are able to stay open until 2:30 versus 4,” said David Gilbert, the president and CEO of Destination Cleveland.
Northeast Ohio leaders praised the NBA for highlighting local attractions and businesses during All Star Weekend.
“They’ve really looked at this with a decidedly Cleveland and Ohio focus with everything that’s going on. So you’re going to see that interwoven with everything that’s taking place,” said Len Komoroski, the CEO of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
Tower City will be a destination for pop-up retail, dining and numerous activities. A Black Business Expo will highlight local Black-owned businesses Feb. 19-20. A free Power of Sport Summit will showcase performances, workshops and panels at the Cleveland Metropolitan Conference Center Feb. 18-20.
Here’s a list of the official NBA All-Star Weekend events:
Fri., Feb. 18
- Ruffles NBA Celebrity All-Star Game: 7 p.m. at Wolstein Center
- Clorox Rising Stars: 9 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Sat., Feb. 19
- NBA All-Star Practice: 11 a.m. at Wolstein Center
- NBA x HBCU Classic (Morgan State vs. Howard Univ.): 2 p.m. at Wolstein Center
- State Farm All-Star Saturday Night (Taco Bell Skills Challenge, MTN Dew 3-Point Contest, AT&T Slam Dunk Competition): 8 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Sun., Feb. 20
- NBA G League Next Gem Game (G League Ignite vs. Cleveland Charge): 2 p.m. at Wolstein Center
- NBA All Star Game: 8 p.m. at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
If you are attending any official event, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test are required for entrance.
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