Business News: Boston to hold hearing on helping Celtics attract NBA All-Star game to TD Garden


The city council is looking to see how it can create a full-court press around the Celtics’ reported bid to host the 2026 NBA All-Star Game.

City Councilor Brian Worrell plans to introduce a hearing order to see how the city itself can get ready to make an assist, checking to see how it can “address improvements needed to bolster the City’s application standing and ensure preparations are done in an equitable manner,” per the order.

“This is championship city,” Worrell told the Herald on Monday, adding that Boston hasn’t hosted an all-star game in any sport since 1999, when Fenway Park held a legendary event celebrating the whole century. “It’s definitely past due.”

NBA All-Star games, which are multi-day affairs that include slam-dunk and three-point contests, are typically in February.

The hearing order, which will be introduced this week or next, notes that “Boston professional sports teams have won 12 championship titles since 1999 – more than any other city.”

Per Worrell’s order, last year’s NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland attracted $141.4 million in direct spending and generated $248.9 million in total economic impact.

Worrell said this is cash the downtown still recovering from the pandemic could well use. The councilor from Mattapan added that he’d like to see ways to get tourists out into the rest of the city, and figure out how to share the wealth with neighborhood businesses.

Multiple outlets over the weekend reported that the C’s are applying to host the game in the TD Garden, and though nothing like this is a slam dunk, league Commissioner Adam Silver has said he would “encourage” Boston to take a shot.

Worrell ticked off more selling points: hopefully young Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are still with the team then, he said, so they could have the chance to play in front of a home crowd. Also, the city’s improved its infrastructure and has had historic firsts in recent years, including its first two mayors of color.

The city and state also now have chief executives who are noted basketball fans; Gov. Maura Healey, who rarely saw a hoops metaphor she didn’t seize on during her campaign last year, captained her Harvard team and then played professionally overseas, and Mayor Michelle Wu regularly talks about her and her kids’ fandom of the Celtics, who are currently the league’s best team by record.

Wu, of course, would have to run again and win re-election to still be mayor by the point the game jumps off.

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