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NBA All-Star Game Awarded To Salt Lake City For 2023

Salt Lake City will host the 2023 NBA All Star Game. (Photo: Ben Anderson / KSL Sports)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA has awarded the 2023 All-Star Game to Salt Lake City during a visit from Commissioner Adam Silver, 30 years after the Utah Jazz hosted their first All-Star Weekend.

The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon at Vivint Smart Home Arena, just hours before the home opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In addition to Silver, Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Jazz owner Gail Miller, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and CEO of Larry H. Miller Companies Steve Starks were there for the announcement.

“It’s my honor to announce the 2023 All-Star game will take place here in Salt Lake City,” Silver said, “Big time events in sports are part of the DNA of this state and in this city.”

 

The weekend will mark the return of the All-Star game to a Western Conference city after four straight Eastern Conference events. Chicago, Indianapolis and Cleveland will host the next three All-Star games. Charlotte was the host city in 2019. 

The Jazz originally submitted the bid for the game in February 2018. The team partnered with the Utah Sports Commission, State of Utah, Salt Lake City and County, the Utah Office of Tourism and Visit Salt Lake in their submission.

The Miller family and the Jazz organization undertook a $125 million renovation of Vivint Smart Home Arena in the summer of 2017 to improve the fan experience, and with All-Star Weekend in mind. 

“The goal when we started that process was to return (the arena) to first class, and we certainly accomplished that,” Starks said.

The 1993 All-Star Game signaled the arrival of Utah as destination sports market.

The 1993 All-Star game was very exciting for me, for my family, for the fans and for the whole community,” Miller said.

Three years later, the Beehive State was awarded the 2002 Winter Olympics. The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee chose Salt Lake City as the country’s next bid city. 

We showed that we can do the most of anyone when it comes to our 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics games,” Mayor Biskupski said.

The USOPC has already announced plans to submit Salt Lake City for the for the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics.

Franchise legends Karl Malone and John Stockton were named Co-MVPs of the 1993 All-Star Game. Malone led the Western Conference team with 28 points. Stockton dished out 15 assists.

Michael Jordan led all scorers with 30 points.

The “Game Elevated” theme submitted by the Jazz highlighted Salt Lake City’s unique guest experience, and the arts and entertainment industry available in the state, including the team’s relationship with the Sundance Film Festival.

Both the film festival and the All-Star game are held annually in the first weeks of February.

Wednesday’s announcement was a major win for the Utah economy. 

“Our estimation is probably between $45-50 million in impact,” Governor Herbert said. “The economic benefit and what it will ripple through the economy is significant.”

Tens of millions of television viewers and hundreds of millions of social media impressions will bring a boost to Utah’s tourism industry. 

“The world will be watching.” Herbert said.

Other cities that have submitted bids for 2023 All-Star Weekend included Milwaukee and Sacramento. Both the Bucks and Kings have opened arenas in the last three years.

How did the Jazz win the bidding process?

“The particular bid was incredibly thorough,” Silver said, “It’s the tradition of hosting big events and sporting events in Salt Lake City.”