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Chris McGowan on Portland Hosting All-Star Weekend One Day

McGowan spoke with KGW and NBC Sports Northwest about Utah getting the nod for All-Star 2023.

2019 NBA All-Star Game Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the location of the 2023 NBA All-Star Game on Wednesday afternoon and (surprise) it is not Portland, Oregon. After a 21-year wait, one of the league’s marquee events will be making a return to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Just hours before the Trail Blazers kicked off their season against the Denver Nuggets, team president and CEO Chris McGowan discussed Utah getting the nod and the possibility of Portland hosting All-Star Weekend in interviews with both KGW and NBC Sports Northwest.

“I think it’s great. I love to see smaller cities get it. They’re doing lots of amazing things in Utah. They have a great president, it’s a great city. It’s going to be a little bit different flavor wise for an All-Star game. It’s close to Portland which is nice, I don’t have to travel too far for it. I think it’s great when different cities get big events. It’s going to be very meaningful for that community.”

In his conversation with NBC Sports Northwest’s Dwight Jaynes, McGowan opened up more about the process of landing host duties.

“We just have to be aggressive. Eventually we’re going to get one. A lot of stuff has to happen and the timing has to be right.”

On the often-mentioned issue of lack of hotels in Portland, McGowan said that it may have been a problem at one point, but he doesn’t believe that it is a factor anymore.

“Maybe at some point it was, but I don’t see it as a stumbling block now. There’s obviously been a ton of development in the hotel space, we have a great airport, Adam Silver’s been willing to take the All-Star Game to non-traditional cities, so I think it’s something that we’ll have a real opportunity of at some point.”

The wait to host the mid-February weekend will go on for Portland, which is one of only four NBA markets yet to host the event—Sacramento, Oklahoma City, and Memphis are the others.

The next four All-Star games will be in Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Salt Lake City.

You can watch KGW’s entire interview here, and read the rest of NBC Sports Northwest’s article here.