Health-care heroes, HBCUs to be featured at All-Star game in Atlanta

122820 ATLANTA: State Farm Arena is mostly empty as the Atlanta Hawks prepare to play the Detroit Pistons in their home opener NBA basketball game on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Atlanta.  “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”
122820 ATLANTA: State Farm Arena is mostly empty as the Atlanta Hawks prepare to play the Detroit Pistons in their home opener NBA basketball game on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

This year’s NBA All-Star game in Atlanta hasn’t been announced, but all signs are pointing toward a March 7 game at State Farm Arena.

According to a person familiar with the situation, it will not be a ticketed event, so the league will not be selling tickets to fans. But that doesn’t mean zero people will be in attendance.

The league plans to feature health-care heroes and historically Black colleges and universities at the event and will invite local health-care workers and students/staff from local HBCUs to attend. Details and invites are still being worked through, but about 1,200-1,500 people will be in attendance.

With several safety precautions in place, including mask mandates, contactless entry and security screenings and rapid-response COVID-19 testing for those sitting within 30 feet of the court, the Hawks reopened State Farm Arena to a limited number of fans (8%, or about 1,300 people) for home games beginning Jan. 26. Those safety precautions will be in place for the All-Star game, per a person familiar with the proceedings.

All-Star weekend typically spans several days and involves fan events, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been whittled to one day, with minimal fanfare.

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