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Center of Attention

Los Angeles has been the home of thousands of world’s biggest sporting events over the past 100 years: 7 Super Bowls, 2 Olympic Games, 3 World Cups (2 Women’s World Cups), 31 NBA Finals, 10 World Series (1 in Anaheim), 5 Stanley Cup Finals, 5 NBA All-Star games, and 2 NHL All-Star games.

In the coming years, Los Angeles will again take center stage with the 2017 NHL and 2018 NBA All-Star Games set to take place in the next two years:

From the prominent celebrities in Hollywood to the lovely beaches in Santa Monica, Los Angeles has always been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States let alone the world. It also doesn’t hurt that Los Angeles offers much more than most other cities: warm weather, beautiful views from the beach and mountains and a myriad of ethnic enclaves.

Not to forget, as one of the top markets in the United States, the move to have Los Angeles host their All-Star festivities can be summarized in one word: opportunity. The City of Angels is a great place for sports to expand locally and globally to new fans, especially for hockey in Southern California.

Specifically looking at Downtown Los Angeles, it has been a major draw for high-profile events within the entertainment industry: the Grammy Awards, countless movie premieres and concerts. However, over the years, the development of new restaurants, shops, hotels and leisure activities near the Staples Center and within walking distance of L.A. Live has made it a destination for fans and event-attendees to go.

For Los Angeles, the 2017 NHL All-Star game will be the second time the festivities will be played at Staples Center and the third time in the city.

“[The] announcement is tremendous news for our fans and for our entire club,” said former Kings eight-time All-Star and current President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille perkings.com . “This means so much. Hockey in Southern California continues to grow at an incredible rate and this is another opportunity for the LA Kings to help grow this great game, one that we love, while also putting on a great show and giving a popular NHL event a special Los Angeles flair.”

As for the 2018 NBA All-Star game, it marks the sixth time that the city of Los Angeles will serve as the host for the event and the third All-Star at Staples Center.

“”Los Angeles is known for first-class hospitality and entertainment, making it the perfect host for NBA All-Star,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “The city is home to some of the most passionate basketball fans in addition to extraordinary facilities, including Staples Center and L.A. Live.”

With Downtown Los Angeles hosting two of the most popular events in the world of sports, the city has also been looking elsewhere for more events to host in the coming years. In the near future, the city of Los Angeles has made bids for the NFL Super Bowl in 2020 or 2021, an MLB All-Star Game in early 2020, the Summer Olympics in 2024 and an NCAA Final Four tournament in 2022.

Downtown’s recent emergence as a hot spot for night dwellers has seen new eateries, bars, and residential complexes being built with the continual growth as a popular destination throughout the past decade. Before the establishment of Staples Center and the neighboring L.A. Live area, the area was a dark and empty stretch of warehouses.

Sporting events, concerts and even convention events held in Downtown Los Angeles over the years have helped the city see an increase in many different aspects: tourism, jobs, direct spending at restaurants, bars, shops, leisure activities and attractions. According to discoverlosangeles.com, these high-profile events and gatherings have helped the Los Angeles County see a record high with 45.5 million overnight and day visitors in 2015, an increase of 2.8% over the previous year.

The continued expansion of Downtown Los Angeles adds even more hope for the city to draw in another record number of tourists to visit the area, let alone during the NBA and NHL All-Star festivities.

According to the LA Business Journal, the J.W. Marriott hotel plans to add a 755-room tower as part of a $500-million expansion by sports and entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) to feature a total of 1,756 guest rooms and 270,000 square feet of conference space upon completion.

In 2011, the last time an NBA All-Star event was held in Los Angeles, it brought in an estimated $85 million in revenue based on a study done by Micronomics. Comparing those numbers to 2015’s NBA All-Star game in New York, the hoops weekend generated at least $195 million, per a study done by NYC & Company.

With the addition of new hotels, restaurants and tourist destinations in Los Angeles, it is predicted that the 2018 All-Star game will greatly surpass the economic impact of 2011’s festivities on the city. The same can be said for 2017’s NHL All-Star game since it’s last appearance in Los Angeles back in 2002.

Looking at the direction Los Angeles is headed as the center of the sports world, the future of the City of Stars shines bright.

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Follow Arthur Puu on Twitter @arthur_puu

Spark Sports Analyst

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