New Orleans Planning NBA's Next Big Party

Monday, February 19th 2007, 8:42 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ From the blinding lights of the Las Vegas Strip, the NBA will take its All-Star game to another city with a long history of knowing how to party: New Orleans.

After going most of two seasons without pro basketball, the hurricane-damaged city finally gets its team, the Hornets, back next season from Oklahoma City and hosts the league's All-Stars, too.

For those questioning whether New Orleans will be prepared for the NBA's signature event, this week might be instructive.

One New Orleans tourism official says if the city is ready for this week's Mardi Gras, then it is also ready for the All-Star Game.

The game will come in the midst of a hectic two-month run for the city that also will include Mardi Gras, the Sugar Bowl and college football's national championship game.

And given the Saints' recent success, the possibility of an NFL playoff game in that span exists as well.

NBA Commissioner David Stern sees the Hornets' return as part of the city's resurgence. He says he has visited with potential investors and sponsors, season-ticket and suite holders.