Chicago earns right to host 2020 All-Star Weekend

The festivities will return to the Windy City for the first time in over 30 years.

Chicago earns right to host 2020 All-Star Weekend
All-Star Weekend returns to Chicago. Photo: Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images

Chicago will host the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. The league will officially announce the news on Friday, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel expected to attend. This will be the first time the All-Star festivities will take place at the United Center. Additionally, this means that All-Star weekend will emanate from a top-three market city for two of the next three years. Los Angeles will host the event in 2018 and Charlotte will host in 2019, after the league found the city's partial bathroom legislation repeal to be sufficient enough.    

Back in Chicago

The NBA All-Star weekend last took place in the Windy City during the 1987-88 season at the Chicago Bulls' former home, Chicago Stadium. Behind the efforts of Bulls superstar Michael Jordan, the Eastern Conference won 138-133 over the Western Conferece. Jordan scored 40 points in the game and earned his first of three All-Star Game MVP awards. Jordan also won the second of his back-to-back dunk contest championships with his iconic slam from the free-throw line. Chicago also hosted the All-Star game in 1973; the East won that game as well, 104-84.  

The right choice?

Overall, this is a nice get for the city. Excitement for All-Star weekend has trended upward over the last year; the ratings for the 2017 game were the highest in four years. Roughly 7.8 million viewers watched last year's 192-182 Western Conference victory in New Orleans. Even though fans will continuously gripe about the issues that plague the game and the weekend (lackluster dunk contest participants, nonexistent defense in an exhibition game, etc.) there is still a level of intrigue in seeing the best players team up for one night. Chicago is a great basketball city (the team is 18th in attendance despite the substandard on-court product) the decision to hold All-Star weekend there makes plenty of sense.