By Mohammad Samra
Mark Salvo, 21, sat alone at a table with his MacBook open, his grey headphones shielding his ears, and his black and red Chicago Bulls cap covering only a portion of his light brown hair. The DePaul student, like many others, is anticipating the arrival of the first NBA All-Star Game in Chicago in over 30 years.
“I’m going to the game,” said Salvo, “I was talking about with my friends and we decided to go to the game to see the true superstars,”
The arrival of the All-Star Game opens up economic opportunity for not only the city of Chicago but business owners as well. “MyChicago!” owner Jose Vahena sees the draft as an oppurtune time to boost merchandise sales; specifically in basketball.
“I think it’s gonna bring more people in,” said Vahena, 39, “The All-Star game was big in Charlotte, there was a lot of news and it was all over the TV,”
Business owners aren’t the only ones projected to benefit from the All-Star game. With the popularity that surrounds the All-Star game, hotels are bound to be completly booked for All-Star weekend by both players and NBA employees as well as fans from other cities.
“I think a lot of hotels will be affected greatly because there’s going to be so many people here and there should be a lot of activities for restaurants as well” said Salvo, “That’s always the upside to having these type of events in the city”
Bringing the All-Star game back to Chicago also gives the city a chance to try and repair their image after notoriously having high murder rates.
Refering to the All-Star game, forty-year-old Naeem Harrold does believe that this is a test for Chicago to prove it’s more than a city with high murder rates. “Once they figure out we can have big events like that here in our city, everything else will fall in to place,”
Many NBA fans are hoping that Chicago’s own Derrick Rose finds his way into the All-Star game.
When referring to Rose’s chances of getting into the All-Star game in his hometown, Salvo thinks the NBA will pay homage to him in a similar way they did for Dwayne Wade and Dirk Nowitzki at this year’s All-Star game.
Salvo placed his MacBook into his gray backpack, slung his backpack over his shoulder, and began walking away. With the 2019 All-Star festivities wrapping up last weekend in Charlotte, there is still no buzz or widespread excitement for the 2020 All-Star game. As the season wraps up and the year comes to a close though, all eyes will be on Chicago come next February.
When referring to any other All-Star games coming to Chicago, Salvo is hopeful MLB will make it’s return since last appearing in 2003 at what is now Guaranteed Rate Field, but is doubtful a Pro Bowl will ever come to town. “It’s just too cold for a Pro Bowl,”