Boston mayor wants All-Star return for his city

The All-Star Game has become the NBA’s prime mid-season exposure for the nation. It’s a fitting tribute to the league and the events off the court are as attractive as the game itself.

Boston mayor Thomas Menino for his city.

The All-Star Game hasn’t been played in Boston since 1964. Menino told the Boston Globe he’d like to get the city in the rotation when the league starts divving up future All-Star Game site after the lockout.

Houston is exected to be formally announced as  the home for the 2013 game as soon as the lockout ends.

But Menino touts a unified power base and new Celtics ownership as reasons why the city would be a good host for a future game.

“We haven’t had it since ’64 and I think we’re ready for it,’’ Menino said. “We have new ownership, new enthusiasm, the fan base out here for it, and I just think we have the facility and everything ready to go.

“I hope that the NBA makes the decision in the near future to bring the All-Star Game to our city.’’

The league has directed the All-Star Game to warm-weather sites for recent games. The Celtics would have to file a formal proposal to host the game and Boston co-owner Wyc Grousbeck has told the Globe he’s interested in joining the league’s rotation.

“The Celtics would have to be the applicant for it, and as a city, I would endorse the idea,’’ Menino said. “As a city, I would endorse the idea of bringing it here with the Convention Center folks, get all the entities in our city working together to make sure the All-Star Game is a first-class game that people participate in and neighbors could participate. I just think it’s long overdue.

“The change in ownership, the change of attitudes, the change of spirit in our city – I look forward someday to having the NBA All-Star Game here and I hope the Celtics in the very near future make the application for it.’’

The league’s 2012 All-Star Game is planned for Orlando — if the lockout is ever settled.

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