Arena renovation secures NBA All-Star for Cleveland

North American basketball league the NBA has announced that Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena will host its 2022 All-Star Game, with the redevelopment of the venue a key factor behind taking the event back to the home of the Cavaliers.

The event will commemorate the league’s 75th anniversary, with the All-Star Game to be held on February 20, 2022. The Cavaliers previously hosted NBA All-Star in 1997, when the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in 1981.

Local officials estimate that All-Star will deliver a $100m (£76.7m/€87.4m) impact to the region with a deal having been subject to long-running talks with the league. Quicken Loans Arena is currently undergoing a substantial redevelopment, with work having commenced in September 2017.

Scheduled completion has been set for the summer of 2019 and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert in September committed an extra $45m of private funding towards the renovation work. That raised the team’s current private funding commitment to over $115m, with the overall cost of the project rising to $185m. The original $140m investment was split 50-50 between the Cavaliers and public funding.

Gilbert said in a statement: “We have been working with the NBA, the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County to deliver this iconic event to Northeast Ohio for the last couple of years. The transformation and new state-of-the-art Quicken Loans Arena was an important factor in the NBA’s decision to choose Cleveland for this exciting classic broadcast across the globe. The world will get to see the modern Cleveland and all of its diversity, innovation and promise for the future.”

The announcement is a boost for the Cavaliers, who are currently in a rebuilding process following the loss of superstar LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers. NBA commissioner Adam Silver admitted that the arena renovations were a key part in Cleveland landing the 2022 All-Star.

“This event is so big now,” Silver said, according to the Associated Press news agency. “We have 1,000 members of the media. The festivities are televised, I should say distributed, not just televised, in 250 countries and territories that we need a massive infrastructure in order to do it. Because the conversations were ongoing about potential upgrades in the building we wanted to wait until those discussions were done and obviously successful before we could lock in the day.”

Following this year’s event at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the All-Star is due to head to Spectrum Center, Charlotte; United Center, Chicago and Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis over the next three years.

Image: Gensler Sports