ATLANTA — It looks like March is going to be a busy month for the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena as the NBA has awarded Atlanta the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. The league made it official on Thursday.
The NBA All-Star Game is set for March 7 with an 8 p.m. tip-off. The other player events that normally happen the night before will also take place on March 7.
The 3-point shootout and skills challenge is set for 6:30 p.m. and the fan-favorite slam dunk contest will happen during halftime.
Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein will have reaction to the All-Star Game moving forward, on Channel 2 Action News starting at 4 p.m.
As part of this year’s events, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) said they will commit more than $2.5 million in funds and resources toward HBCUs and support and awareness around equity and access to COVID-19 care, relief and vaccines.
The NBA and NBAPA also agreed to a set of COVID-19 protocols that will be in place.
Each player will have to have a negative PCR test the day before and of the game before participating. Players are allowed to bring a limited amount of family and friends who will also have to follow the testing and travel policies.
Players and guests will only be allowed to travel between the arena and their hotel.
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The weekend normally has multiple outside events scheduled, but those events will not be held this year.
The game was originally scheduled to be played in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It should be noted the NCAA plans on holding its March Madness tournament in the Indianapolis area throughout the month of March.
The last time the game was held in Atlanta was 2003. It was held at then Philips Arena in front of a sellout crowd of over 20,000 people.
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2021 is shaping up to be a big sports year in the city as the Braves are slated to hold this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in July.