NBA commissioner Adam Silver on All-Star Game in Portland: 'It's an issue of … – OregonLive.com (blog)
BROOKLYN – During his annual midseason press conference at 2015 All-Star Weekend in New York, NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the possibility of bringing the NBA’s biggest showcase to Portland.
The Trail Blazers submitted a bid to host the All-Star Game in 2017 or 2018 and on Saturday night Silver said it’s still “too early to say” whether the city will be granted the game. But he offered a familiar explanation for what could limit Portland from hosting its first ever NBA All-Star Game.
“One of the issues historically with respect to Portland is frankly the number of hotel rooms,” Silver said. “Like I said we have 1,800 credentialed members of the media (in New York this year) alone who need hotel rooms now. Thousands of guests who come to town as well.”
“I would love to have an All-Star Game in Portland,” he said. “But it’s an issue of whether we can fit in town.”
The Blazers are aware of the city’s hotel room issues and have already made progress on developing the necessary accommodations. Last June, the Metro Council voted unanimously to subsidize a $212 million, 600-room Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Oregon Convention Center. The project would be backed by $60 million in Metro-issued bonds that would be repaid by hotel taxes, according to a report from The Oregonian’s Elliot Njus.
The hotel construction will likely be finished by 2018, making an All-Star game in Portland three years from now a serious possibility.
“I think having the convention center hotel potentially open by 2018 is a really nice add-on to the bid because it’s going to be a really nice hotel and it’s going to be close to the convention center, with 600 rooms or so, which definitely helps with the bidding process,” Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan told The Oregonian/OregonLive in August.
A decision on the 2017 and 2018 games could come as soon as April when the NBA Board of Governors holds its next meeting.
Toronto will host its first All-Star Game in 2016, reducing the number of franchises who have never hosted the event to two: the Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Charlotte Hornets are the other franchise to put in a bid for the 2017 and 2018 All-Star Games. Charlotte hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1991 at the Charlotte Coliseum, which has since been demolished.
Sacramento and Oklahoma City have not hosted a game in their current cities, but both franchises hosted the event in previous incarnations. The Kings hosted the event in 1966 in Cincinnati when they were the Cincinnati Royals. The Thunder had the 1974 and 1987 games in Seattle when they were the SuperSonics, but the franchise has since distanced itself from association with the Seattle era.