ALL STAR TORONTO
Posted on 02/10/2016 | About Toronto, Ontario
Seven months after the Pan Am Games and five months after the Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto hotels are looking forward to another boon. The city can expect thousands of tourists to arrive for the first NBA All-Star Game to take place outside of the United States. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment estimates revenue from the games will reach up to $100 million.
That estimate is based on what other cities have generated after hosting the game, including Los Angeles, Houston, Orlando and New Orleans. New York City brought in $200 million last year. Even more important than the money is the chance for Toronto to be in the sporting event spotlight once again, says Andrew Weir, marketing director for Tourism Toronto. “Events like this have a cumulative effect that builds Toronto’s brand,” said Weir.
“It will change the way people think about Toronto so that they recognize the vibrancy of the city. It creates long-term appeal. We can’t have enough of these events.” Sunday night’s game at the Air Canada Centre is expected to draw big names such as LeBron James, Paul George, Kyle Lowry DeMar DeRozan, as well as Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry. Fans will get a chance to see Kobe Bryant play in an All-Star Game before he retires.
Kevin Hart and Toronto native Drake will be coaching the celebrity basketball game Saturday, Sting will headline the halftime show and Shaquille O’Neal, Snoop Dogg, Usher, Gwen Stefani and 2 Chainz will be in attendance and will likely be seen at some local establishments. Cities across Canada are enjoying a surge of American visitors due to the weak Canadian dollar.