Houston played host to the 2013 NBA All-Star game this weekend, and did an amazing job. If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out the comments from journalists, players, and others who experienced the weekend for themselves.
Kevin Hart @KevinHart4real : “I can’t forget to shout out the city of Houston for being a great host city…..this was definitely one of the better All star weekends.”
Lebron James @KingJames : “Houston should be very, very proud of their city for the way they set this whole All-Star weekend up.”
Ne-Yo @NeYoCompound : “Now leaving Houston headed for Orlando. Had a great time!! Much love to the flyness of H-Town and all it’s people. I’ll Holla!! S/O NBA!”
Wolf Blitzer @wolfblitzer : “Thanks Houston. You did great job hosting
#NBAAllStar weekend. I really liked almost every event within walking distance of hotels.”
These were just a few names that had a blast here in Houston! Now I don’t think I am the only one that was surprised Houston hosted the All-Star game this year. It was just a few years ago (2006) when Houston hosted the exact same event.
In a recent Forbes article by Alicia Jessop, the NBA’s executive vice president of events, Ski Austin described why Houston is such a great host city.
“This year, Houston’s [bid] was the best. One of the things that is really advantageous in Houston, is its geography. You have the arena next to three major hotels and one of them connects to the convention center. Not that this alone was a deciding factor, but it was a great thing that the city could put together and create the community for All-Star and have everything happening in one place.”
Houston also had a few commemorative reasons when they sent a bid to host.
“Some of the reasons why teams bid on All-Star is that they have new buildings, an anniversary in the city or they want to commemorate some other event,” Austin explained. For Houston, there were several events for the Houston Rockets to commemorate this season. First, this year marks the 10th season that the Rockets have played in the Toyota Center. Additionally, the Toyota Center recently unveiled a 25′ x 58′ Panasonic scoreboard that features the largest combined viewing area of any indoor center-hung scoreboard in the United States. Austin notes that while not the most important asset to Houston’s winning bid, that the Panasonic scoreboard nonetheless factored into the NBA’s decision. “You can be anywhere in the arena, watch live action and see a replay in the best HD I’ve seen anywhere. It was a great asset to have,” Austin said.
The NBA All-Star game revolves around the history of the NBA. The George R. Brown Convention Center was transformed into basketball heaven. They called this popular spot “Jam Session” in which former and current NBA players stopped by to sign autographs and interact with fans. Jam Session was a great event for families, and people visiting Houston for the All-Star game.
Along with honoring the NBA, the city which hosts the All-Star game financially benefits in a huge way. The city of Houston expected roughly 50,000 unique visitors, and according to the The Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau All-Star weekend would have an economic impact of $60 million, and an overall economic impact of slightly below $100 million.
For local Houstonians, this event was a preview of what downtown Houston could be in a few years. As of now the fourth largest city in the country has a relatively sleepy downtown atmosphere. With The Galleria so close shopping tends to drift towards the 610 area. Downtown Houston is starting to grow its shopping district, and food options, giving this large and spread out city a chance to revitalize life into the nucleus.
According to Nielsen, the 2013 NBA All-Star game drew 8 million total viewers to TNT on Sunday night, an increase of 13% over last year’s game. The Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area had the highest mark of any market with a 12.6 HH rating. That was followed by San Antonio (9.9); Memphis (9.7); Los Angeles (9.4) and Oklahoma City (8.9). Houston, the host city, was right behind with a 8.3 rating.
According to Bluefin, TNT’s coverage of the NBA All-Star Game generated 3.4 million comments across social platforms to become the most-discussed telecast of the week. (Source)
It was great seeing Houston in the spotlight. The Toyota Center looked fantastic; James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Chandler Parsons all did well representing the hometown Houston Rockets. Harden who has had a tremendous past few months, that included winning a gold medal, to being the new face of a franchise in Houston tweeted this:
@JHarden13 “I had an amazing time playing in my first
#NBAAllStar Game in front of my hometown fans. #Blessed #StateFarmSaturday”