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Monday, November 3, 2008

Cuban wants to put on one-of-a-kind All-Star Game

By EDDIE SEFKO / The Dallas Morning News

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants to throw "the biggest event this country has ever seen."

NBA commissioner David Stern has somewhat more modest goals for the 2010 All-Star Game, which will be played at the new Cowboys' stadium that February.

"I don't know what the largest crowd ever to see a basketball game in the United States is," Stern said Thursday. "I think it's about 78,000. We're going to top that. If Mark wants to push it to 100,000, God bless him."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the stadium could easily handle that crowd, adding that "the court will literally be on the star."

There was no limit to the excitement of the franchise owners and the league as the announcement was made at Victory Plaza before the Mavericks opened their season against the Houston Rockets.

Cuban said he wants to put on a show that has never been equaled.

"There ain't no party like a D-FW party," Cuban said.

"I don't think people realize this is the country's largest weekend destination by far," he said, referring to the NBA All-Star weekend. "It's amazing, and you don't really understand it until you go to one."

Mavericks' president Terdema Ussery was the guiding force behind the scenes. He worked more than 14 months, planting the first seed with the NBA that the Mavs were interested in hosting the event.

While the All-Star Game will be in Arlington, virtually all the other events will be in Dallas. The Friday night and Saturday night festivities will be at American Airlines Center. The Fan Jam will be at the Dallas Convention Center.

The league also envisions a series of events starting early in 2009 that would serve as momentum builders toward the big weekend, which will bring thousands of visitors from the sporting, fashion and entertainment industries.

Stern said the partnership of Jones and Cuban is unique.

"We have a very good working relationship with the NFL, but this was very much a local collaboration," Stern said. "I'm very proud that Jerry and Mark and the NBA could work together on doing it.

"This is not part of some larger blueprint because who knows what the next improvement will be. But this is a pretty big step, and it's going to be a lot of fun."


Events confirmed for the new Cowboys stadium in Arlington after it opens in 2009:

September 2009: Cowboys' first home game

Oct. 3, 2009: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (football)

December 2009: Big 12 football championship

Jan. 2, 2010: AT&T Cotton Bowl

February 2010: NBA All-Star Game

Feb. 6, 2011: Super Bowl XLV

Oct. 5, 2013: Notre Dame vs. Arizona State (football)


The All-Star games that have been played in the Dallas area:

League Year Location Result MVP
NBA 1986 Reunion Arena East 139, West 132 Isiah Thomas
MLB 1995 The Ballpark in Arl. NL 3, AL 2 Jeff Conine
NFL 1973 Texas Stadium AFC 33, NFC 28 O.J. Simpson
NHL 2007 AAC West 12, East 9 Daniel Briere