Feb 28, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; A view of the Toronto skyline before the Florida Panthers game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

NBA All-Star Weekend: Toronto Raptors bidding to host 2016 NBA All-Star Game

Maple Leaf Sports and the Raptors organization have already begun the process of submitting an official bid to host the 2016 NBA All-Star game. (Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Toronto Raptors never held the NBA All-Star weekend events in their entire club history. That however may change as the Raptors are bidding to host the events for the first time in 2016.

The NBA All-Star weekend extravaganza is an event many fans around the world look forward to. Watching all your favourite NBA players playing under one roof is simply amazing. While we just wrapped up the 2013 NBA-All Star events in Houston, many people are already anticipating next year’s all-star game.

As next year’s array of events will be held in New Orleans, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, Brooklyn and New York are the favourites to host the NBA All-Star weekend events the following year in 2015.

The 2014 weekend is scheduled for New Orleans and NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said here Saturday night that either Brooklyn or New York are odds-on favourites to host the 2015 game.

“There are two (2015) applications in, one from Brooklyn and one from the Garden,” said commissioner David Stern.

While the 2015 NBA All-Star games may be hosted by either Brooklyn, New York, or another city, Smith says the Raptors are interested in hosting the games after, three years from now and are taking action.

According to several sources, Maple Leaf Sports and the Raptors have already begun the process of submitting an official bid to host the 2016 all-star game to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the franchise and to bring one of the league’s most popular events to an international venue for the first time ever.

If the Raptors win the bid for the 2016 NBA All-Star game, it will be the first time an international venue held the event. Smith writes that no other team has expressed interested yet to hold the weekend events. In the Toronto Raptors club history, the team never once held the event because of lack of space. However, he says that league officials are already studying Toronto as a potential destination and have been making inquiries about hotel availability and space.

The Raptors have never bid for the game, often because of a lack of space for the massive NBA Jam Session that’s part of the weekend; that won’t be an issue for 2016, sources said.

This is big news for many reason. As a Torontonian, I am absolutely thrilled. I never would’ve thought I’d live the day that the NBA All-Star festivities may actually make its way up north and what better year than to host it during the 20th anniversary of the club. As well, If the NBA All-Star spectacular makes it way to Canada, it may potentially open the door for the event to be held all over the globe, even perhaps in Europe.

The only cities that haven’t held the All-Star Weekend events are Portland, Sacramento, Toronto, Memphis, Oklahoma City and Brooklyn. Hopefully, Toronto is next.

Here’s to wishful thinking.

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Tags: NBA All-Star Game NBA All-Star Weekend Toronto Toronto Raptors