“We’re so excited to really be able to showcase what makes Cleveland so special and what makes Cleveland such a great sports town to not just the country, but the entire world,” said Jen Brasdovich, public relations manager at Destination Cleveland.
The nonprofit convention and visitors bureau couldn’t be more excited to welcome the world to Cleveland’s court.
“It’s important to really make this about the entire Cleveland community because that’s what we want to showcase,” said Brasdovich.
Everywhere you look downtown has NBA All-Star signage.
“We know that we put on these events better than anyone else and we know a big part of that is the people we have here. So, we want to make sure that the community can get down, can experience some of the excitement that’s happening here in downtown,” she said.
It’s been 25 years since the big game has been in Cleveland.
“So, we had the 50th anniversary and now we’ve got the 75th anniversary. So, it’s so exciting. It’s such a great opportunity for us and who knows, in 25 years we might see it back here for the 100th anniversary,” said Brasdovich.
Even if you can’t score a ticket to the All-Star Game, you can still be part of the action.
There’s lots to do for the tens of thousands of people expected to come to town.
“The Cleveland Power of Sports Summit is happening, and that’s completely free and that’s really a good way to celebrate like diversity, equity and inclusion in sports,” she said.
Another thing on the list: supporting local restaurants and bars.
“This is the place to be,” said Brasdovich, while standing on East 4th Street. “You know, all of these restaurants are decked out. They are going to be offering some specials throughout the weekend. They’ll have the games and the events on. So, it’s a great opportunity if you don’t have a ticket to the game, but you want to get into the All-Star spirit, East 4th St. is going to be one of the great places to be this weekend.”
Fans can also check out the NBA Crossover event. The interactive experience is open noon to 8 p.m. through Sunday at Public Auditorium.
For $10 you can attend the first-ever NBA HBCU Classic Saturday afternoon at the Wolstein Center.
www.CLEcourt.com is a one-stop shop for all you need to know about NBA All-Star events.
“It has links to buy tickets for all of the events that are happening, all the NBA events, has special All-Star Weekend events that are happening around the city,” she said. “So, like Great Lakes Science Center is hosting an NBA 2K22 tournament this weekend. So, you could check out stuff like that.”
Brasdovich said this is our chance to show the world why Cleveland is an All-Star city.
“When we show Cleveland on TV, when people see us on TV, when they come to visit Cleveland, we want to showcase the community spirit that we have here. The resilience that we show, the grit,” she said.
Initial estimates said the economic impact of the weekend could be $100 million, but Destination Cleveland said the spotlight will cause ripple effects that will last for years to come.
Here is a list of other events Destination Cleveland encourages fans to check out:
NBA Ice Buckets Court
Local and visiting basketball fans and sports enthusiasts are invited to shoot their shot at the NBA Ice Buckets Court pop-up at Tower City. The game allows fans to compete in a buzzer-beating game for the chance to win NBA prizes. Fans can register to play for free on the NBA Events App.
- Tower City, Skylight Concourse: 230 W. Huron Rd., Cleveland
- Friday, Feb. 18 & Saturday, Feb. 19: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 20: noon - 5 p.m.
5th Street Flea Vendor Pop-Up
The perfect way to support Cleveland’s small business community, 5th Street Flea will host a pop-up vendor event inside the 5th Street Arcades. Vendors will be on hand through Sunday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., and shoppers can also visit one of the local storefronts within the 5th Street Arcades.
- 5th Street Arcades: 530 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
- Friday, Feb. 18 - Sunday, Feb. 20: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Baseline to Bassline Exhibit
The Rock Hall’s newest exhibit explores the connection between music and basketball. Baseline to Bassline highlights the cultural impact of the sport and features artifacts worn by musicians at NBA events. Fans can also get pumped for the All-Star Game with a Spotify playlist featuring some players’ favorite pre-game tunes.
- 1100 E. 9th St., Cleveland
- Open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. through Monday
- Advance tickets required, available online
Hank Willis Thomas: The New Black Aesthetic
As part of the celebration of the NBA’s 75th anniversary, Brooklyn-based artist Hank Willis Thomas will bring a special exhibit to Cleveland for All-Star Weekend. Inspired by various quilt traditions from African American history, “The New Black Aesthetic” features mixed media works depicting NBA legends and jerseys and will be on display at the Caxton Building from Feb. 17-20.
- Caxton Building: 812 Huron Rd. E., Cleveland
- Feb. 17-20: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
- Free admission
Xbox 2K22 Tournament, Watch Party & Family Fun Day
Families looking to get in on the All-Star excitement on Saturday can head to Great Lakes Science Center for a basketball-centric family event. Gamers can play like an All-Star during the Xbox NBA 2K22 tournament; families can enjoy classic basketball arcade games from the 80s, 90s and 2000s; and all attendees can show their skills during a virtual reality basketball competition. It all culminates with a watch party for the Saturday night All-Star events.
- Great Lakes Science Center: 601 Erieside Ave., Cleveland
- Saturday, Feb. 19: 6-10 p.m.
- Tournament admission and event tickets ($35-$75, kids under 10 free) available online
Cleveland All-Star Fitness Expo
Residents and visitors alike can take a break to focus on their fitness during Saturday morning’s All-Star Fitness Expo, hosted by Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward’s ‘Make Them Know Your Name’ Foundation. The event at FirstEnergy Stadium’s 7 Up City Club will feature a wide array of workout sessions, from yoga to cardio boxing, along with dance battles, musical performances, vendors, celebrity appearances and giveaways.
- FirstEnergy Stadium, 100 Alfred Lerner Way, Cleveland
- Saturday, Feb. 19: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- General admission tickets $30, celebrity access tickets including autographs and photo ops $75-$100; available online.
ListenCLE Street Performances
Music will fill the air in Downtown Cleveland over All-Star Weekend, thanks to a street performance series coordinated by ListenCLE. Live music and art demonstrations will take place at Star Plaza near the Playhouse Square Chandelier and at the Cleveland Visitors Center throughout the weekend. Performances will be free, but tipping is encouraged.
- Star Plaza: E 14th Street & Euclid Ave., and Cleveland Visitors Center: 334 Euclid Ave.
- Full performance schedule available online.
Uniquely CLE Tours
All-Star Weekend is the perfect opportunity for visitors and residents alike to brush up on their Cleveland history or learn more about what makes the city unique. An Ohio City food tour with Relish Cleveland will give attendees a taste of Cleveland’s culinary scene with stops at five local eateries, including the historic West Side Market, while they learn about the history of the market, the Ohio City Farm and other unique neighborhood spots.
A Downtown Highlights Walking Tour is a great way to experience Downtown Cleveland as tour guides lead attendees from Public Square to Playhouse Square, sharing the history of the city, the buildings and some of Cleveland’s most famous residents along the way.
- Ohio City Food Tour: Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. Tickets ($50-$87) available online
- Downtown Highlights Walking Tour: Various times throughout the weekend (Thursday-Sunday). Tickets ($24) available online
Tower City All-Star Events & Dining
Tower City Food Hall will offer a variety of pop-up food, beverage and retail options during All-Star Weekend. Vendors include 2 You Wines, Lonnie’s Boy Soul Cookin’, MODbites by Nuevo, Ninja City Kitchen & Bar, Squash the Beef, Vitiman Kandie, Yum Village, Peace, Love & Little Donuts, Pearl Flower Catering, Heights Soul Food & Grill, Shell Shock’d Tacos, Kohcoa Shop, Andreas Dekar Wines, The Lemon Lady and Living Rich apparel.
- Tower City Center, 230 W. Huron Rd., Cleveland
- Thursday, Feb. 17 - Sunday, Feb. 20: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Tower City is presenting fun, family friendly programming on Saturday and Sunday. Activities include games, hype squad characters, crafting, face painting and more
- Tower City Center, 230 W. Huron Rd., Cleveland
- Saturday, Feb. 19 - Sunday, Feb. 20: noon - 6 p.m.
The Real Black Friday’s Blk Biz Expo: All-Star Edition
On Saturday, February 19 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., over 100 local Black businesses and entrepreneurs are participating at LaRese Purnell’s seventh annual Black Business Expo with live music, special guests and performances, a fashion show and more.
- Tower City Center, Skylight Concourse: 230 W. Huron Rd., Cleveland
- Saturday, Feb. 19: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- A complete schedule of events is available online
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority All-Star Trolley
RTA’s All-Star Trolleys will be decked out and available to take riders to and from NBA All-Star festivities across the city center.
Friday, Feb. 18: 7 p.m. -11 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 19 & Sunday, Feb. 20: 9 a.m. to midnight
- Tap for information on All-Star Trolley stops
- Tap for information on RTA Rapids to the Tower City Station
For a complete listing of all things NBA All-Star, visit www.CLEcourt.com. All attendees are required to comply with local health department and CDC guidelines. Guests are also encouraged to check with individual event coordinators and venues regarding their specific guidelines.