From February 17 to 19, visiting NBA owners, executives, media and fans witnessed the extraordinary skills of the NBA’s best and brightest stars at Smoothie King Center and Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The All-Star Weekend culminated a 6-month whirlwind of planning and execution by the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, New Orleans Pelicans and the NBA.
“The New Orleans Host Committee accomplished the impossible,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “On very short notice they created the hotel rooms, the arena availability and everything that we needed to make this event work. And hosted Mardi Gras at the same time.”
By the end of the weekend, more than 70 official NBA events took place, including the NBA Cares Day of Service, which took place at eight schools (three of which were impacted by the February tornadoes). An estimated 50 plus “unofficial” events were also held throughout the city. In total, the NBA’s invited guests generated more than 24,000 hotel room nights across 39 different properties, with an estimated 10,000 additional nights from fans, meeting planners and sponsor support groups.
The ultra-experienced Host Committee, led by the Pelicans and Sports Foundation in partnership with SMG, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation and the State of Louisiana, came together last July on record short notice with the challenge of bidding, planning and hosting the mega-event of All-Star over the first weekend of Mardi Gras. By all accounts, New Orleans and Louisiana received a standing ovation from the NBA, media and attendees.