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Local businesses, community members already preparing for the 2024 NBA All-Star Weekend

NBA All-Star Weekend will be held in Indianapolis from Feb. 16-18.
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Posted at 6:41 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 08:19:16-05

INDIANAPOLIS — It looks like it's already NBA All-Star weekend in Indianapolis, even though we're still about a month away.

The airport has a full-sized basketball court where travelers can show off their skills.

Downtown Indianapolis temporarily has streets named after different teams.

WRTV spoke to business and NBA All-Star members about why you'll want to start planning for the weekend now.

"30 days from now, this city is going to see a takeover like none other. The beauty of NBA All-Star Weekend is that basketball is an international language spoken across the world," Diana Boyce, VP OF NBA All-Star 2024, said.

As the All-Star game approaches, local businesses and the city are gearing up for a big match up of visitors and locals.

"We can already feel the excitement building for the big game," Brent Drescher, Assistant General Manager at the District Tap, said.

That excitement has led to sold out hotels across the city and a rise in Airbnb costs.

"Hotels are tremendously sold out. This is a very, very high-end VIP event — a nonstop party. Events are sold out, rooms are sold out for multiple days leading up to event," Patrick Tamm, President and CEO of Indiana Restaurant Lodging Association, said.

Tamm says several restaurants and venues are also booked.

"Restaurants are sold out or bought out for special events throughout the day," Tamm said.

Drescher says reservations aren't required to get in.

"We have a small window. Friday evening is rented out — DoorDash rented us out — other than that, we are wide open as of right now," Drescher said.

The best advice he has for Hoosiers is to plan ahead.

"Get out here early because we will fill up in the day," Drescher said.

When it comes to parking, downtown is already limited, but Boyce says not to let that discourage you.

"For people who want to explore downtown Indianapolis, bring your friends and family to enjoy these downtown activities, lights, sights and sounds of All-Star Weekend," Boyce said. "Downtown Indy has a great parking map, we're going to make sure we're keeping that up to date. Follow Pacer Sports Entertainment on social media, we'll be providing real time updates."

If you can't get into the game, there are several other activities to do.

"We have activations that will make you feel like you are a part of it. You will hear the squeaks of the sneakers and the sounds of dribbling a basketball, even if you're not in the building," Boyce said.

The NBA All-Star 2024 team has also created an app that will help you navigate downtown.

They've created blue and gold routes that will show you the best way to get to where you're going, plus real-time traffic jams and street closures.