NBA FANS = KA-CHING?
|Forget the snow. This weekend's NBA All-Star game is expected to draw 200k fans and $150M to North Texas. The festivities start today with the All-Star Jam Session, ending Sunday with the 8 pm tip-off at Cowboys Stadium.|
Commuters on Stemmons can’t miss this monstrous ad (though the players are actual size) on the Renaissance Hotel in Dallas. Hotel Association of North Texas executive director Brooke Dieterlen says there are 45k hotel rooms booked over 80 hotels sampled. About 50 are 100% booked but most of the 750 hotels in the area have a few rooms still available. The impact is far reaching, including a lot of the hotels in Dallas suburbs, she says. NBA.com anticipates a record-breaking attendance (the '89 Astrodome game had 45k). Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau prez Jay Burress says more than 92k tickets were sold as of Wednesday.
The Hyatt Regency also has a giant billboard along Stemmons, just up I-30 west to Arlington. Beyond hotels, the stadium is already increasing traffic to the entertainment district and surrounding merchants like Lincoln Square, which offers special deals for parking and shuttle services. Jay says the opportunity to expose the city to visiting celebrities and NBA fans is another boost to Arlington.
Imagine: just you and 90k of your buddies sitting around, having a brew, and watching the game. We recommend binoculars. On Sunday, there will be a special opening of the I-30W HOV lane. It will be open westbound from 4:30-7pm. After the event, it will be open eastbound from 10pm-12:30am. This was our view of the Cowboys-Seahawks game last November, which makes us wonder what can be seen at the NBA game?