And now the NBA is set to complete the trifecta with either the Knicks or Nets. Both teams have submitted formal bids to host All-Star Weekend in 2015, and the game is practically a slam-dunk to be played in New York, according to NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver.
It will come down to Brooklyn vs. Manhattan, a choice between the brand new Barclays Center and the renovated Madison Square Garden. The third and final phase of MSG’s pricey transformation is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2013-14 season.
But if public advocate Bill de Blasio has his way, the league will bypass Manhattan and head straight for the outer borough. De Blasio has written a letter to NBA commissioner David Stern and Silver, imploring them not to hold the game at Madison Square Garden.
De Blasio believes that holding the event at Barclays Center would be terrific for the continued growth and development of Brooklyn, but he also vehemently opposes Knicks owner James Dolan being rewarded with the game.
“Choosing Barclays would cement the NBA’s expansion and investment in one of NYC’s iconic outer-borough neighborhoods,” de Blasio wrote in his letter. “And importantly, it would ensure that the NBA does not give a tacit stamp of approval to the unfair, anti-worker policies of the owner of Madison Square Garden, James Dolan.”
The mayoral candidate further chided Dolan in his letter over the practices of Cablevision, which the MSG owner heads.
“(Cablevision Systems Corporation) has been entangled in a contentious dispute with the Communications Workers of America since nearly 300 Brooklyn technicians lawfully unionized in January 2012,” de Blasio wrote. “Since that vote, Cablevision has denied its Brooklyn workers a fair contract, and has tried to undercut the efforts of the workers to organize.
“A corporation crosses the line when it subjects its employees to unfair treatment and summary termination without just cause.”
The announcement of where the game will be played won’t likely be made until 12 to 18 months prior to the event, according to The New York Times.
The Garden last hosted All-Star Weekend in 1998.
“Brooklyn would make a compelling host for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, even without these pressing concerns,” de Blasio wrote in the conclusion of his letter. “I urge you to do right by fans in the outer boroughs by selecting a venue consistent with their interests and values. Choosing Barclays over Madison Square Garden will send a clear message that we will stand up for working people, right here in New York City and everywhere else.”
Where would you like to see the All-Star Game played — at the Garden or at Barclays Center? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…