Originally created 07/31/05

Source: Las Vegas to host 2007 NBA All-Star game



Las Vegas will be the site of the 2007 NBA All-Star game, marking the first time the event will be held in a non-NBA city.

An official with knowledge of the decision, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed reports in the Las Vegas media that the city has been given the go-ahead to play host to the league's showcase event.

Mayor Oscar Goodman and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority had been making a strong push to land the game, and one of the final obstacles was finding a way to convince a few luxury suite holders at the Thomas & Mack Center to relinquish their boxes in exchange for seats elsewhere in the arena.

Casino operators had already agreed to not take bets on the game, one of the requirements the NBA laid out when the sides first began talking about placing the game in America's most popular gambling destination.

Commissioner David Stern has been open to the idea of holding the All-Star game in non-NBA cities, and during the finals he said there was consideration being given to playing the 2008 or 2009 game in Paris.

League officials have made several trips to Las Vegas to scout possible locations, including the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus. Last month, state gambling regulators approved a league request blocking Nevada sports books from accepting wagers on All-Star events held in the state.

Such bans are not unprecedented. The Palms hotel-casino does not accept bets on professional basketball games because it is owned by the Maloof family, which also owns the Sacramento Kings.

Next year's game will be in Houston.