DALLAS - The 2010 National Basketball Association All-Star Game will be staged in the new retractable-roof stadium of American football's Dallas Cowboys, the league announced Thursday.
NBA commissioner David Stern, flanked by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones, owner of the National Football League's Cowboys, announced the news at a press conference outside the Mavericks' American Airlines Center.
"Dallas is a vibrant city with a passionate sports fan base that will embrace the NBA All-Star experience," Stern predicted. "We appreciate the collaborative efforts of Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones on what will surely be one of the most memorable basketball events of all time."
The Cowboys' new stadium in suburban Arlington, also slated to host the NFL's 2011 Super Bowl, will have a seating capacity in excess of 80,000.
Cuban said holding the mid-season exhbition there would create "amazing" excitement "with the pinnacle being the NBA All-Star Game in front of the largest crowd to ever see a basketball game."
The Dallas Morning News reported that if weather conditions and league officials allow, the under-construction stadium could open the roof and have the game played under the stars.
Other events of All-Star weekend, including the Rookie Challenge and NBA All-Star Saturday Night festivities, will take place at American Airlines Center.
It will mark the first time All-Star competitions have been split between two venues since Houston in 1989, when the Rockets' arena hosted some events and the game itself was played at the Astrodome.
"The NBA All-Star Game coming to the Cowboys' new stadium is a testament to the vision and passion that Mark Cuban brings to sports," Jones said. "We’re proud to be partners with Mark, the Mavericks and the NBA, and we know that North Texas will be a first-class host for this world class event."
German star Dirk Nowitzki was excited by the prospect of playing in the massive stadium.
"All-Star is always a special event for the city it's in," Nowitzki told the Dallas Morning News. "If it's really going to happen, it's going to be something special in that super dome they're building out there."
The last football stadium to host the NBA All-Star Game was the Alamodome in San Antonio, where the Michael Jordan-led Eastern squad notched a 129-118 victory in front of 36,037 fans in 1996.
The largest crowd ever to watch an NBA All-Star Game was in 1989 when the Western Conference posted a 143-134 victory at the Astrodome in front of 44,735 fans.