Make your home page

Indianapolis expects 100,000 for NBA All-Star Game weekend

Indianapolis prepares for NBA All-Star Game weekend 2024

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis police are leaving nothing up to chance when it comes to security and safety precautions being taken ahead of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game and its pregame events.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the city is uniquely poised to address every safety issue related to the NBA All-Star Game weekend. Hogsett likened the security and safety measures needed to safety challenges presented by the Indianapolis 500.

“Indianapolis wrote the book on hosting events like this,” the Democrat mayor said. “It’s time for downtown Indianapolis to take the spotlight.”

Hogsett said the city expects more than 100,000 people to flock to the metropolitan area.

“Our city will do everything … it does better than every other city, and that is to play host to the world,” he said.

Police personnel have been canceling leave, said Chris Bailey during the news conference with the mayor at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the site of Sunday’s game. The assistant police chief later Monday was named the leader of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Bailey listed, more traditional safety measures — such as increases in police presence in the city and Marin County — will be carried out with officers on foot, on bicycles, on motorcycles, on horses, and in cars. “Fans may see public safety and IMPD drones in the air.”

Drones would help law enforcement to move resources and cars quickly in situations where a rapid response was necessary, Bailey says.

Bailey says police expect private citizens, photographers or just enthusiasts to leave their drones at home.

Also, Bailey says, the real-time crime center will be active. City officials were planning to introduce what they called a “mass communication tool.” By sending the words “NBA All-Star 2024” to 67283, people can get public safety updates. The messages would expire after the weekend concludes, and the phone numbers will be purged from the system.

As far as getting around, officials expected to release maps about how to navigate around snarled traffic throughout the weekend.

Members of the NBA All-Star 2024 Host Committee and representatives of Downtown Indy Inc., Indianapolis Fire Department and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office joined Hogsett and Bailey at the news conference.