Atlanta mayor urges people not to travel to town for NBA All-Star Game

ATLANTA — The NBA All-Star Game is coming to Atlanta next month.

Ahead of the game, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is asking people not to flock to the city to prevent the weekend event from becoming a super spreader event.

The mayor is also strongly encouraging promoters, clubs and bars not to host events related to the game.

“Under normal year, I’d be really excited at the opportunity to host an All Star Game. But it is a concern for us,” she said.

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However, some in the hospitality industry see this as an opportunity to make up for lost revenue caused by the pandemic.

Damien Gordon, the owner of reggae-inspired Royal Peacock Club, told Channel 2′s Tom Jones he was excited when he heard the NBA All-Star Game was reportedly returning to Atlanta at State Farm Arena.

Gordon doesn’t think the mayor’s words will stop the parties.

“It would be virtually impossible unless there is some type of ordinance that tells us that we can’t open,” he said.

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When the NBA All-Star Game was last in Atlanta in 2003, it left streets and highways clogged for days. People partied until the sun came up.

Restaurant consultant Walter Jordan thinks the pandemic won’t stop the party this time.

“I have clients already calling me saying they’re getting calls. people want to buy out their facilities,” he said.

Jordan thinks the city shouldn’t have allowed the game to come if they didn’t want people to travel.

“People have been cooped up. I think it’s gonna be just as bad,” he told Jones. “If you bring the All Star Game here, you’re opening the floodgates.”

Bottom said she has been in talks with the Hawks and the NBA about making sure the actual event is safe.

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