Portland Trail Blazers President Chris McGowan has informed CSNNW.com that he will make it known at an April 18 NBA Board of Governors meeting in New York, that he has every intention of preparing a bid to bring NBA All-Star Weekend to the city of Portland.
“We made the decision that we're going to go all in for it,” McGowan told CSNNW.com.
Last week McGowan met with Drew Mahalic, Chief Executive Officer of the Oregon Sports Authority, and the two have developed a plan of attack in order to make this happen.
The city of New Orleans is hosting the event in 2014 and it is between Brooklyn and New York for 2015. Word is Cleveland and Toronto have the upper hand for 2016, leaving door open for the year 2017.
A high-ranking NBA source told CSNNW.com that an announcement on who receives the event for 2015 and 2016 will be forthcoming, but added that the bidding process has not begun for 2017.
“We're definitely going to pursue it,” McGowan said. “Doesn't mean we're going to get it, but if the opportunity presents itself, we're going to go for it. If 2017 is available, we want to get in the mix for that year.”
He added: “We'll get all the details in New York and learn about the bidding process and let them know that we're very interested and go from there. If that 2017 year is available, that's definitely the one we'll aim for.”
Ever since the soon-to-be NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told CSNNW.com at All-Star weekend in Houston that there was interest from the league in bringing All-Star Weekend to the city of Portland, McGowan has researched tirelessly the possibilities of that becoming a reality.
He has discovered that it is conceivable.
“It's exciting that the league mentioned that they would consider coming here. Then it goes to is it feasible and can it happen. I think it can and the fans here deserve it,” McGowan said.
“I don't see any reason why it couldn't happen. It's a great city, great fan base, great arena, great meeting space with the convention center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum. I think when you add all that stuff up, it makes me think that this could happen.”
Then there's that one small issue that always seems to come up when Portland is linked with this event: Hotel space.
Both McGowan and Mahalic dismissed the notion of that being problematic.
“We have a lot of hotels in Portland,” McGowan said. “I don't know if that is necessarily going to be an issue. We have great hotels and plans for more.”
There are six current NBA cities that have never hosted the event (Brooklyn, Toronto, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Portland and Sacramento). Of those six, Sacramento and Portland are the longest existing franchises.
Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts believes the city is due for one and thinks they are capable of pulling it off.
"I don't see why not," Stotts said. "Portland is a great city. We have the facilities and the local interest. I don't see any reason why not. I think it would be very well attended and great for the city."
McGowan has been extremely busy since taken over the Trail Blazers' business affairs and he has made some waves in the process. But if he is able to bring this into fruition, it would be a major accomplishment for the city of Portland and the Trail Blazers' organization.
“If you host it, you have to have great accommodations, you have to have a great flavor for the city and you have to have a unique experience,” he said. “I think we can provide that here in Portland. We're going to go for it.”