Miami is known for hosting big events.
But it’s been a while since it’s hosted the NBA All-Star Game. Miami has hosted the event just once, when it was held at Miami Arena in 1990.
There’s a reason for that, though. The Miami International Boat Show is held on the same weekend as the NBA All-Star Game – Presidents Day weekend. The boat show usually uses the Miami Beach Convention Center and takes up a good amount of hotel rooms in the area.
“The boat show is and probably always will be an issue not just because it takes the convention center out of play for a potential place for jam session,” said Heat president of business operations Eric Woolworth, “but also because of what it does to the hotel situation.”
But the NBA has been in contact with the Heat about possibly hosting the All-Star game in the future.
The 2017 NBA All-Star Game is expected to take place in New Orleans after it was moved from Charlotte due to the league’s objection to North Carolina’s limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the state. The 2018 All-Star game will be played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but no other future games have a location yet.
That means the soonest Miami could host the NBA All-Star Game is in 2019. The NBA didn’t even consider Miami as an option in past years, but it has become more of a possibility recently.
“The league would like to be in Miami,” Woolworth said. “It’s a premier destination within the league and they would like to figure it out. I think there’s a willingness on both sides to work toward a solution.”
One of the solutions could be to move the event to another weekend in February to avoid overlapping with the Miami International Boat Show. But it’s already a busy month for AmericanAirlines Arena, as it hosts Univision’s “Premio Lo Nuestro” show each February.
Marlins Park has been brought up as a possibility to help host NBA All-Star festivities, but Woolworth said the Heat “haven’t really gotten” to that point in the process yet.
“What I would tell you is that we’ve been talking to the NBA about it,” Woolworth said. “I just think right now everything regarding all All-Star games have sort of been put on hold until they figure out what’s happening this year. Everything is sort of at a stand still.”