The Halifax Rainmen have convinced the Premier Basketball League to have an all-star game. Better yet, they’ve convinced them to have it at the Metro Centre.
The Rainmen announced yesterday the PBL’s inaugural all-star weekend will be held here on a date to be determined in April, once the championship series has concluded.
“I hope to sell it out,” said Rainmen owner Andre Levingston. “I want everybody to get the opportunity to see how good this league is and how talented these guys are.”
It’s the PBL’s third season of operation, second with the Rainmen on board. The Rainmen are one of the league’s top franchises, at least from an attendance perspective, having averaged crowds of 2,778 in 10 home games last season.
Commissioner Tom Doyle said negotiations took six months and that the event would be “something special.”
“Nobody else made the right proposal,” Doyle said, of why the PBL hasn’t had an all-star game. “We know Andre and his staff will put on an event that is spectacular.”
It’s not the first time the Rainmen have hosted an event of this magnitude. Before they ever played a game in Halifax, they hosted the American Basketball Association all-star game on Jan. 28, 2007, before an estimated 2,500 fans.
Although the ABA all-star game was met with mixed reviews, Levingston said the PBL extravaganza will be better. He said the talent level will be better because the PBL has absorbed a number of elite minor-pro talents due to the folding of the Continental Basketball Association last season.
“You’re going to see some really talented guys here,” said Levingston. “We have experience now putting on events like this, so the entertainment will be over the top. We’re going to try to make it a lot better than our first run.”
Levingston likes the timing of the event in April. It could fill a sporting void in Halifax, especially with the Mooseheads looking like long-shots for the QMJHL playoffs.
“We’re kind of starving for basketball in April,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of sports going on at that time.”
Rogers was announced as the all-star game’s title sponsor.
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