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NBA All Star Game in NYC Will Be An Economic Slam Dunk, Experts Say

February 8, 2015

Ivan Pereira, am New York

The city will be the center of the basketball world this week, when the NBA’s top stars flock to the Big Apple for the NBA All-Star Game, and bring with them an economic boost.

Businesses, especially those in proximity to Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, expect a much-needed uptick amid the cold of winter while avid basketball fans and casual supporters alike have a lot to look forward to in the many events being offered throughout the week, community leaders said.

“It will hopefully be a boon to the hotels, the restaurants, bars, the sporting goods stores,” said Carlo Scissura, the president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Aside from Sunday’s game at the Garden, the NBA is holding basketball-themed events throughout the city. Starting tomorrowTuesday, fans can meet veterans, practice their skills and buy merchandise at LIU Brooklyn’s Paramount Theatre and the Moynihan Station on Eighth Avenue.

On Valentine’s Day Saturday, when the all-stars will be at Barclays for the three-point shooting and slam dunk contests, Macy’s is hosting a special event featuring mascots.

Foodies and music fans have bashes to look forward to as well.

The All-Star Taste program at Barclays this weekend will have foods culled from across the NBA’s 30 franchises.

There were be several All-Star related parties, including one featuring Sean “Diddy” Combs, John Wall and DJ Khaled at the Liberty Theater in Manhattan on Sunday.

Tricia Lewis, director of digital media for the 34th Street Partnership, is thrilled that so many events are centered in the area around the garden. “I think it will be great for the restaurants and the bars in the district,” she said.

In Brooklyn, Scissura points out that the NBA is just the latest major entity to recognize the value of staging a big event at Barclays.

“The operator or host continues to say, ‘Wow. A) Barclays is beautiful and B) they can say, ‘I can get to downtown Manhattan in 8 minutes, I can be in Coney Island in 20 minutes, I can get to Long Island on the LIRR in 30 minutes,’” he said.

The NBA and the city could not offer specifics in terms of All-Star Week’s economic impact. Tens of millions seems like a fair bet based on past sporting events, but if past sporting events are comparison, it could bring in tens of millions of dollars to the Big Apple.

Last year, Super Bowl Week generated $600 million for New York and New Jersey last year, according to the NFL. The city’s Economic Development Corporation said the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field brought in $191.5 million.

Of course, at the end of the day, fans of the sport stand to benefit most of all, said Josh Marcus, co-creator of the NYC Basketball League. The All-Star Game belongs in the Big Apple, he said, given the sport’s longstanding connection with New York.

“Basketball fans and players see New York City as the basketball capital of the world.” Josh Marcus, the co-creator of NYC Basketball league.

Josh Marcus, the co-creator of the NYC Basketball League, said that it's been a very fortunate time for the city since we've had back to back to back events with three different sports and hoped these weeks become more common place.

New Yorkers are hungry for to get more close with their favorite sport, he said.

“I think it's another cool thing for basketball fans. You get to be right there in the action, smack in the middle of February. It's a great thing,” he said.

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns amNewYork.