The Washington Wizards will host the 2001 All-Star Game at MCI Center, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. A formal announcement by the league's deputy commissioner, Russ Granik, is scheduled Saturday at the Wizards' game against the visiting Sacramento Kings.
It will be the first all-star game hosted by the Wizards at two-year-old MCI Center.
As the Washington Bullets, the franchise hosted the 1980 game at Capital Centre in Landover and the 1969 game in Baltimore.
The all-star game is the centerpiece of the league's all-star festivities, which traditionally have included a three-point shooting contest and a rookie game the day before the all-star game.
The all-star game, which usually sells out and draws tens of thousands of fans, should generate significant attention and money for the arena and surrounding businesses. The NBA has been making preliminary arrangements, such as reserving blocks of hotel rooms and meeting halls, in the Washington area for months in preparation for the event, sources said.
Last summer, MCI Center hosted the NBA draft.
This season's all-star game will be hosted by the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 13 in Oakland, Calif. Last season's game was canceled because of the lockout.
That game was scheduled to be in Philadelphia, which likely will be awarded the 2002 All-Star Game.