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INDIANAPOLIS — The NBA has canceled its hotel contracts with several hotels in Indianapolis for the week of what was supposed to be the NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis next year, meaning the NBA All-Star Game is unlikely to take place in the Circle City as planned.

Three years ago it was announced that the NBA All-Star Game would be hosted by the Indiana Pacers at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse for the 2020-2021 season. It marked a huge win for the city of Indianapolis.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA has had to amend its schedule having had to cancel the All-Star Break this year when the pandemic first hit the United States. The scheduling conflicts now seem to have spilled over into next season.

“We have been working with the NBA since 2017 to bring our fans and our city this world-class event, just as we did when we last hosted in 1985,” said Rick Fuson, president and chief operating officer for Pacers Sports and Entertainment Inc. “While it appears All Star 2021 is unlikely to happen on Presidents’ Day weekend, we are excited about continuing to collaborate with the NBA as we look to the future.”

“Disappointed, but not surprised .. with everything that’s been going on,” said Bill Benner, Inside Indiana Business sports contributor and former VP of Pacers Sports and Entertainment. “We lost the Big Ten season, we lost the Big Ten football championship game, we lost the NCAA Regional last year, we lost the conclusion of the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament back in March. It’s just been one body blow right after another.”

The NBA has not made it clear if it plans to cancel the All-Star Game in Indianapolis or simply postpone it. Benner is hopeful the NBA will keep Indy on the shortlist.

“I’m certainly hopeful that if the NBA does indeed go through with this, and it looks like they will, that Indy will be in line for a future NBA All-Star Game sooner rather than later,” Benner added.

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