SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The eyes of the world will be on Utah this weekend, as for the first time in 30 years, the NBA All-Star Game has returned to Salt Lake City.
NBA officials have spent this week setting up Vivint Arena and the Huntsman Center for a variety events, and they say Salt Lake is ready to host this spectacular three-day event.
“This is a city that is big-event ready,” said Joey Graziano, the Senior VP of Events Strategy for the NBA. “This is a city that from hosting and Olympics, we’ve got fans coming from around the world and we’ve got guests coming from around the world. And for many of those, this is their first time in Salt Lake City, which is why this event is so important.”
A lot has changed in Utah and with the All-Star Game event over the last three decades, and this weekend’s events promise to be bigger than ever.
“It’s exciting to be here in Utah and to be back 30 years later,” said Carlton Myers, the Senior VP of Live Productions and Entertainment for the NBA. “There has been a lot of technological advances since then. Our show has grown tremendously. We know basically do a full-scale concert and a basketball game in the same venue three nights in a row.”
From rapper Post Malone performing on a 4,000-square foot stage with four million video pixels, to the 51 cameras beaming the game to 215 countries all over the world, this will be the brightest spotlight that has shined on Utah since the 2022 Olympics.
“I expect the energy to be really high,” said Myers. “We’re going to do a huge moment for LeBron James, recognizing him. We’re going to recognize some of the Utah greats. We’ll have some great competitions on Saturday night. It’s going to be a lot of fun in here.”
The Rising Stars Game jerseys will pay homage to past Jazz teams, while the All-Star Game uniforms won’t be handed out until right before tipoff when team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo pick their teams.
“These are set, but we have no idea where the other players are going to land,” said NBA Events Coordinator Hallie Keselman. “That will happen Sunday right before tip when the captains select the the reserves and the starters for their teams.”
“We’ve got incredible partners here with the Utah Jazz,” Graziano said. “We’ve been working on this for over a year, and you’re going to see something across the week that we’ve never put forward.”
The NBA Celebrity Game will be the first event Friday at the Huntsman Center, followed by the Rising Stars Challenge at Vivint Arena. All-Star Saturday includes the skills competition, the 3-point contest and the slam dunk contest. The All-Star Game is set to start at 6:00 p.m. Sunday night at Vivint Arena.