Indy NBA All-Star planners back from LA after studying game, surrounding events

Pacers Vice President of Facility Operations Mel Raines. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A local NBA All-Star Game organizing committee is now back from Los Angeles after watching and studying this year’s All-Star events. Their goal is to ensure the 2021 All-Star Game weekend is a success for Indianapolis.

Pacers Vice President of Facility Operations Mel Raines is President of the local 2021 NBA All-Star Organizing Committee. Raines was a visionary behind Indianapolis’ 2012 Super Bowl weekend.

“Until you see it and immerse yourself in it, it’s hard to undersand what everything is, how many moving parts there are, how broad it is,” Raines said.

NBA All-Star weekend includes a dunk contest, a celebrity game, community service events and a skills challenge.

The committee is now planning how to make those events unique to Indianapolis.

“What we’re really focused on is what we’re going to do to enhance that event,” Raines said. “We’ve got a great setup here with Georgia Street, Lucas Oil Stadium, the convention center and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.”

Larry Bird delivered Indy’s All-Star Game bid to the NBA’s New York City office in an IndyCar last spring.

2021 will be the first Indianapolis All-Star Game since 1985–16 years before the demolition of Market Square Arena.

“Once you land it, you’re defnitely looking at everything with a fine-toothed comb,” Raines said.

Raines said the bulk of the planning will start in about a year.

As for the National Anthem? She said the NBA picks the singer.

“They’ll pick a great person, I’m sure.”

Raines said the NBA walked her through operational aspects, including security, in Los Angeles. She said every arena is different but her committee will work closely with the NBA and local police, forming the right security plan for Indy.