Larry Bird drove a Pacers-branded IndyCar to the NBA offices in New York City on Monday to deliver the team’s bid to host the 2021 All-Star festivities.
The stunt not only added flash to the Pacers’ bid, but it’s also something Bird, the team president, has always wanted to do.
Larry Bird takes a spin down 5th Avenue. pic.twitter.com/rEeaBTiwpN— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 24, 2017
Larry's IndyCar is turning some heads on 5th Avenue. pic.twitter.com/q2mQUR4Wvl— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 24, 2017
"That was a bucket list thing!" -Larry Bird tells Commissioner Adam Silver about the IndyCar experience down 5th Avenue. pic.twitter.com/Joro74UUo2— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 24, 2017
Mission accomplished. Our bid for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game has been officially submitted. pic.twitter.com/qhFfR9ldCk— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 24, 2017
Indianapolis last hosted the All-Star Game in 1985, in what was then the Hoosier Dome, IndyStar.com notes. The only confirmed site for a future All-Star weekend is Los Angeles for next year’s event.
The Pacers decided to ramp up an effort to land the league’s midseason showcase in December, when commissioner Adam Silver attended the groundbreaking of the team’s new $50 million practice facility.
The following month, during the Pacers’ visit to London for a game against the Nuggets, Silver said, "I think it's highly likely that we will return to Indianapolis for an All-Star Game in the near future."
Silver hinted the Pacers’ bid would be strengthened by agreeing to host the All-Star Game in a stadium larger than 18,165-seat Bankers Life Fieldhouse, their home arena. The strategy worked in 2010 for the Mavericks, who welcomed more than 108,000 fans to the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium for the All-Star Game. The Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium holds about 80,000.