CLEVELAND– The Indiana Pacers will host the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, ESPN reported Wednesday morning. A formal announcement is set for later in the day.
This means Cleveland will have to wait a little longer to host. Los Angeles has the 2018 game, followed by Charlotte and Chicago.
“We continue to work closely with the league regarding Cleveland’s bid to host an All-Star Game and remain excited and encouraged that Cleveland will be awarded one of the upcoming games,” said Cavs and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski, in a statement.
When plans were announced to renovate Quicken Loans Arena, the city of Cleveland said the NBA promised to bring an All-Star week once the transformation is completed. According to the Cavaliers, Indianapolis hosting in 2021 does not change the NBA’s commitment to Cleveland.
But construction was delayed when community groups pushed for a ballot issue on the $140 million project, which the Cavaliers agreed to pay half. At one point, the team withdrew its support, saying the referendum attempts made the project unfeasible.
Construction started in September. The Q will be closed to event activity during the Cavs off-season in 2018 and 2019 for work to continue. The Arena Football League team, the Cleveland Gladiators, will take a two-year hiatus and there will be no summer concerts to allow for construction.
“I know that Cleveland is a great choice for hosting the NBA All-Star Game,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, in a statement Wednesday morning. “I am confident that our City will remain competitive for a future All-Star bid.”
Cleveland has been to four NBA Finals during the LeBron James’ eras. But the home of the 13-time NBA All-Star hasn’t hosted an All-Star Game during that time. The next chance for The Land to land the big game is 2022 and by then, LeBron will be 37 years old.
Cleveland last hosted in 1997, when The Q was called Gund Arena. It featured legends like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley.