Jerry Reinsdorf opposed to NBA All-Star Game in Chicago, is he crazy?

Jerry Reinsdorf opposed to NBA All-Star Game in Chicago, is he crazy?
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Chicagoan’s can be thankful to Jerry Reinsdorf for many reasons. He was the instrumental principle-owner of the Chicago Bulls during their dynasty years, signing off on checks for the likes of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and many other immortal Bulls champions. He was also just as instrumental in producing the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox.

Without Jerry, Chicago would only be celebrating the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears and the 1908 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.

Thank you Jerry.

However, it seems as if Mr. Reinsdorf’s streak of success and grandeur has run it’s course. The prolific chairman, and his son Michael shot down the idea of a future All-Star Game weekend being held at the United Center.

“They’d have to force me to take the All-Star Game,” Jerry Reinsdorf said. “They take over the building, your season-ticket holders have to be in a lottery to see if they get tickets and then they don’t get a good ticket. Really, no good can come out of it and all it can do is upset your fans.”

Really? Really, Mr. Reinsdorf? All it can do is upset it’s fans? The last time Chicago hosted an NBA All-Star game was in 1988 – when Michael Jordan won both the slam dunk competition and the game’s MVP award – and a year before his first championship. Did it cripple the Chicago economy and it’s “season-ticket holders” then?




Despite the financial benefit and spotlight added to the city, the Reinsdorf’s claim the season-ticket holders would be the biggest casualty in the midst of all the melee.

Really? Really? Your biggest care and concern is control and season-ticket holders? Not Chicago and it’s 2,884,382 residents and business’s that could see millions of dollars in business? Just the season-ticket holders and your control over the facilities for nine days?

Why shun the idea of having an event that would be of major significance in the professional sports world? Even despite experts on the subject whom say that it can only bring positive’s to the city and the team.

After seeing how profitable and marketable the Super Bowl being held in Indianapolis was for it’s business’s and residents alike, and missing the Olympic bid in heartbreaking fashion. Jerry Reinsdorf and son should reconsider taking a deeper look into the possibility of hosting and All-Star game in a city – that with it’s team’s success – is over-deserving of participating in the weekend of fun and celebrity.

Reinsdorf business savvy however, should not go unheralded, after purchasing the Chicago Bulls organization, from November 20, 1987 through Michael Jordan’s 1999 retirement the Bulls sold out every game.

Derrick Rose is the NBA’s reigning MVP, and the Chicago Bulls are the NBA’s best team, reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last season with the NBA’s best record. Chicago has seen six NBA championships since it last hosted the All-Star Game, and for some reason someone seems to think that the All-Star Game is a bad thing.

This year’s All-Star Game will be hosted in Houston, and the NBA usually gets about seven or eight teams interested in bidding every year. The next announcement for the 2014 location will be announced soon. The next bids for the 2015 and 2016 sites will be sent out in the spring.


If anyone else agrees with the Reinsdorf’s that Chicago shouldn’t host an All-Star Game, please comment below with your reason.




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  • Having the 1996 Dem. convention at the United Center resulted in some redevelopment around there, and an All-Star game would have to promise similarly.

    Unlike downtown Indy, where they said that everything was within walking distance, including the flagship hotels, you can't say the same for the United Center. Maybe it helps the Billy Goat's out there, but unless someone wants to put up hotels on West Madison, the visitors are not going to feel as welcome. Might help the charter shuttle companies, though.

  • Great article Curtis, unfortunately I have to agree with the Chairman on this one.

    First of all, the All-Star Game isn't comparable to the Super Bowl, either in importance or financial impact. I think the city would get a much bigger boost from the NBA Finals being at the UC, and thankfully that's JR's goal.

    And jack also makes a great point, outside of the Billy Goat Tavern on West Madison, there's nothing really within a mile of the UC. I love the Billy Goat, I was there the last time I came to the city, but that's not really enough when everything else is basically in the Loop.

    Besides, he already has the UC rented out for 1/2 of February for the Ice Capades, no need to run off the Bulls and Hawks any more than they already are.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    I love that there are some arguments on the side of JR. I just don't see the BAD side to having it. I think with CTA and better transportation than most cities, fans won't have to stick around that side of town to have a good time.

    Especially the games I go to, it is no longer than a 10-15 minute trip from the UC to downtown Michigan Ave. The ice capades would be any foreseeable problem in my opinion.

    Just as a fan of basketball and Chicago, would you not like to be able to enjoy a All-Star Game in Chicago?

  • Chicago's public transportation would eradicate any problems with the 1.4mi difference. I lived in Indianapolis during college and know the downtown area. They improved on the accommodations around the area for the Super Bowl, much like Chicago would do.

    Est. $1.4bil in business brought to Indy over the week, Chicago could use a percentage of that extra business.

    Just seems like such a no brainer to the city and it's fans. Especially bringing in out of towners who would enjoy downtown Chicago and all the city's culture. Not to mention putting a light on Chicago for a weekend with the star power and attraction.

    CTA handles alot more volume than IndyGo, it would help that people wouldn't be forced to drive around the city like they did in Indianapolis.

    Just personally think it's a stubborn move to immediately dismiss the idea like the Reinsdorf's have seemed to do now.

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    Maybe you should read the CTA Tattler and then determine whether people who want to put down a couple of $thousand for the experience really want to ride the CTA. Even if the 19 bus is running.

    It sort of hits me as similar to they held Super Bowls in Detroit because there was a domed stadium, but visitors really didn't like the rest of the experience. Maybe we will find out in two years if that Super Bowl is really a Manhattan experience or a Jersey one for the tourists.

    To add to Don Ellis's point: The UC is rented out not only for the Ice Show but also the Circus. I don't know if other teams have the kind of road trips the Bulls and Hawks have, but adding to the Hawks' exile sure hasn't helped their record.

  • I think jack might be right about the CTA- folks like us don't think twice about it, but do you really think those uppity white folks who are in town for an All-Star Game want to get on a bus full of brothers heading out to the West Side?

    Personally, I don't even watch the All-Star game, I would just as soon watch a game from the Rucker, but that's just me.

    But there's certainly nothing wrong with those who do enjoy it, it's just not my cup of tea. And I guess that explains why you care enough to write an article about it, good for you because you did a great job.

    That being said, I do watch the 3-point shootout every year, and I check out the Skills competition if I think about AND there are Bulls involved. I don't really care about the Slam Dunk Contest any more, but my son is 8 so I do watch it with him for the entertainment value.

  • And I'm assuming that Reinsdorf didn't like the experience last time they had the All-Star game, so I don't think he's "immediately dismissing" it.

    I'm not against it at all, but like I said it's not a huge deal to me. Now if we were talking about a Super Bowl and the McCaskeys were giving the same line that JR is giving, I'd probably have your back 100%.

  • I think everyone has their misgiving about public transportation purely because of the way it forces classes to mix together. I still think that they way people perceive CTA will be small issue and non issue at that.

    The 88' All Star Game from what I read went well adn without a hitch. Jordan winning the dunk contest over Wilkins and the MVP sparked alot of writing. (Had to go back deeep into the paper archives).

    @ Don, it is his reasons that he's giving the public I think are BS. This isnt for uppity fans that are above the bus, or a "competitive disadvantage for the Bulls being forced to play more away games ( they always accomodate schedule for those prior to making them.) It is for the people of Chicago, the one's who don't have season tickets and scratch together their hard earned money to support their team.

    It's for the city of Chicago being recognized as a whole. With news crews from all over it enhances small business's that choose to use it as a platform to better business. I just think it is so much bigger than the Eastern Conference Finals, but obviously not as big as the Super Bowl.

    I do feel that they are immediately dismissing Don because so much has changed in almost 30 years. I can't believe any problems from 1988 couldn't be fixed in 2014 or 15. And it isnt even time to bid and they are shooting it down.

    I would agree the main game itself is not as appealing as the weekends events itself. Local charities and schools ALWAYS benefit from the weekend because of the new NBA Cares programs goes around to schools in the area and support and give back to the community.

    I guess my reasons for the All-Star Game really have nothing to do with the game itself, but rather the impact it could have on the everyman and everykid in the city and surrounding area.

    Frankly, Chicago deserves to hold these events because they are just as applicable as any other city in America. We live here, so are issues are much more finite than those who travel here.

    McCormick place holds some of the biggest events in America and it's access is laughable. Doctors, surgeons and profession from all over the world come here for weeks at a time. And the access is no better than Soldier Field.

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    There is at least a hotel at McCormick Place, and, usually for a convention, plenty of private shuttle services. I'm pretty sure the professionals are not waiting 20 minutes for the 3 bus or standing around the Chinatown station for the 21, like the plebians going to the Auto Show for on the packed to the gills bus from CUS for Auto Show only. There is also the dedicated busway to McCormick Place for the private carriers.

  • while i see reinsdorf's point, taking the view of the people who pay the bills at the UC, i think it's a little shortsighted. with chicago's convention and tourism business down, any reason to showcase chicago shouldn't be considered a hinderance. as far as the cta experience goes...seems like to me that there would be shuttles running from most of the hotel areas, so i don't see that as an issue either.

    it's acutally sort of a laughable discussion given what the area surrounding the UC is like now compared to what it was in '88...or even '98... back then the only food you could get on randolph street still needed to be cooked...

  • Exactly. To say that there would be no shuttle accommodations or even a higher volume of running buses and transportation from the UC to downtown is ludicrous. I know we all have our issues with CTA but i think 20 minute waits would never happen and the grants the city would offer would help sooo many business's especially the CTA.

    I want to reiterate that I not directly comparing the All-Star Games business potentially to even come close to the Super Bowl, but it would however bring positive's to a city that lives in the shadows of the East (NY) and West (LA) coasts. Now it seems like the South (Houston, Dallas) are becoming more marketable destinations for things of this calibur.

    If there is no hope for Chicago to host events like the Super Bowl and All-Star games, I frankly don't see how the appeal of having the conference Finals or NBA Finals could benefit the city more positively than a weekend long event for NBA fans and not just fans of 2 teams.

    Argh, if only we would've won the Olympics.....

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    "Argh, if only we would've won the Olympics....."

    If we had, we would have found out by now that all Daley and "Aon" Ryan were saying about the taxpayers not being on the hook would have been horse hockey.*

    Even Daley realized after Chicago got eliminated that "it is all politics and money," unlike anything else with which Daley was involved. :-).

    Of course, the Olympics would have been around for two weeks. Even the NBA playoffs could potentially be around for 2 or 3 days a week for 2 months.

    *Just like Madigan and Quinn saying that the elimination of 1.25 points of the income tax hike scheduled for 2015 "now has to be reexamined."

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