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Indy's NBA All-Star Saturday night will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium
By holding it at the Colts' stadium, the Skills Challenge, 3-point and Slam Dunk Contests will be attended by an audience twice the size than at The Fieldhouse.
Indianapolis is on the clock for NBA All-Star Weekend 2024 and the host committee will hold Saturday night events at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The plans were unveiled Wednesday at a press conference held at the home of the Indianapolis Colts, which opened in 2008.
All-Star Saturday night spotlights players from across the league in individual competitions. It’s the skills challenge, 3-point and slam dunk contests in front of about 35,000 fans on the south end of the stadium — plus millions more watching across the globe on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.
The 73rd NBA All-Star game will be held the following day at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. It will finally be Indy’s time after being postponed three years due to the pandemic.
So why Lucas Oil Stadium?
The ability to engage and host more locals, especially Pacers season-ticket holders, is the real draw here. The Pacers include the slogan “We Grow Basketball Here” on the apron of the court at games.
After just completing $360 million in renovations to the fieldhouse, the newest attendance number for a sellout is 17,274. But with an All-Star game, there’s thousands of media, a big TNT set, stage for performances, plus hospitality. So by holding Saturday night’s events at Lucas Oil Stadium, they’re more than doubling the capacity.
And thus including more locals.
“State Farm All-Star Saturday Night is one of the most exciting and entertaining nights in all of sports, and holding it at Lucas Oil Stadium, one of football’s most iconic venues which was also thoughtfully designed for basketball events, enables us to make it more accessible than ever to our community,” said Rick Fuson, CEO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “This focus on community is one of the ways that will make NBA All-Star 2024 in Indianapolis so special and unique, and I am grateful to our friends and partners at the NBA and the Capital Improvement Board for working with us to make this possible.”
They plan to sell tickets in waves and the first group of 10,500 tickets — with tickets ranging from $24 to $49 and $79 — will go on sale July 24.
One month away.
Moreover, the host committee, which already invested in 24 legacy projects across the state for $50,000 each (and a total of more than $1.2 million), is donating 2,400 seats to local partners, non-profits and community organizations.
Have you caught on to the theme? The 2024 All-Star Game. First on sale on the 24th. With 2,400 seats donated.
It was certain that the All-Star game would be played at the fieldhouse, but Indy officials hoped to hold Saturday night at the stadium. However, they must work collaboratively with the league.
“We are thrilled to bring State Farm All-Star Saturday Night to Lucas Oil Stadium, where the event will be enjoyed by more fans than ever before,” added Kelly Flatow, Head of Events for the NBA. “We appreciate the incredible collaboration from the NBA All-Star 2024 Host Committee and the Capital Improvement Board to bring this to life, further helping us realize our vision in building an inclusive and fan-first NBA All-Star 2024.”
One of the biggest challenges in hosting All-Star weekend is the inability for teams to fully take care of their season-ticket holders, their most loyal partners. The marquee weekend is run by the NBA, though each city has a host committee that handles a significant portion of the work.
The committee also has big plans in store for Fan Fest at the convention center, which is connected to Lucas Oil Stadium. And the north end of the stadium will be used for concerts and performances.
Salt Lake City had performances by G-Eazy, Saweetie, Pitbull, The Kid LAROI and BIA.
Additionally, rides on IndyGo buses and rentals from Pacers Bike Share will be free Thursday through Sunday of All-Star Weekend.
But the beauty of holding a big event in Indy is its walkability — especially without going outside. So if the weather is poor, guests can walk from hotels like the JW Marriott and Westin to the stadium and convention center without going outside.
It’s four blocks from the fieldhouse to the convention center. And another half mile to the stadium. It’s the most-walkable city for a massive event like this.
Everything is right there.
Whereas this past year, in Salt Lake City, we had at least a 20-minute bus ride to interview sessions and All-Star practice over at the University of Utah.
This will be Indy’s second time hosting the event and last time, in 1985, the All-Star game was also held at the Colts’ stadium: The Hoosier Dome.
All-Star Weekend is truly a global event. Not only will there be a sizable international media presence, but the 2023 All-Star game was available in 214 countries and territories and in 60 languages.
More than 70 representatives from over a dozen Indy organizations — ranging from the Pacers to Indianapolis’ Capital Improvement Board, Visit Indy, Indiana Sports Corp. and local police and fire departments — were in Salt Lake City for tours and to survey how Utah hosted the big weekend in February.
And for a few hours on that Friday, everyone came together for a Team Indiana event. I was there as well.
“We know in our hearts … it’s gonna be the greatest All-Star weekend in history,” Pacers owner Steve Simon said to the group.
Of local interest: After competing in the 3-point contest last year, Pacers All-Star Tyrese Haliburton pledged to compete again for the title in Indy.
“I'll be in the contest next year,” he said in February after finishing behind Damian Lillard and teammate Buddy Hield. “I'm going to get this back for sure.”