Sacramento is back in the All-Star Game, but when will the city host All-Star Weekend?
SACRAMENTO — While the Sacramento Kings finally have one of their players, Domantas Sabonis, back in the NBA All-Star game, the city is still waiting for the NBA to give it a shot at hosting an All-Star Weekend.
It's still a long shot.
Jill Petersen owns Tru Encompass Beauty, a salon next door to the Golden 1 Center.
"I think it's a must. We need to fight for it," Petersen said. "Oh my gosh, we would be ecstatic. We would love to see the traffic out front here at DOCO."
Sacramento civic leaders even talked with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about getting the game here before the Golden 1 Center was even open.
"It's a stretch only in that we got to look at how many people the community can accommodate," Silver said in 2015.
The opportunity to host an All-Star Weekend was even written into the Downtown Arena Term Sheet agreement. Former Mayor Kevin Johnson spoke about his hopes to host the game in 2015.
"All I know, we build a brand new arena downtown in 2016, which we're going to do, we need to know what it's going to take to get an All-Star Game because that was part of the deal," Johnson said in 2015. "If we build a new arena, we hope to get an All-Star Game."
Now, in 2023, the All-Star Game wait goes on.
Mike Testa with Visit Sacramento said despite the opening of the Sawyer, Hyatt Centric, and Fort Sutter hotels in recent years, Sacramento is still short of the NBA-required 6,000 downtown hotel rooms to host the weekend.
"The challenge in Sacramento is still lack of hotel rooms," Testa said. "Pre-covid there was a number of hotels slated to be built, and covid ruined that."
Salt Lake City is hosting this year's All-Star weekend. It has 7,275 downtown hotel rooms.
Indianapolis is hosting next year, and it has 7500 downtown hotel rooms.
Sacramento currently has just 4,000 downtown hotel rooms.
"You know, we explored a number of options, everything from hotels outside of this market that were close by, cruise ships in the West Sacramento Port and what we learned from the NBA is that it doesn't work. They want everybody to be in a downtown," Testa said.
When it comes to Sacramento's long-awaited All-Star Weekend, the wait continues.
Testa said it will likely take 5-10 more downtown hotels to reach the 2,000 extra downtown hotel rooms, the NBA would require for Sacramento to play host.
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