Will NBA All-Star Game return to Philadelphia in 2026?


Though the concept of packed arenas sounds odd at the moment as the NBA takes a breath after spending months in a “bubble,” the Sixers reportedly are aiming to host the 2026 All-Star Game.

In a CNBC story covering Doc Rivers’ role, managing partner Josh Harris and CEO Scott O’Neil’s desire for a new arena and more, Jabari Young writes, “the Sixers are working with Philadelphia officials and Comcast, which owns the Wells Fargo Center, to host an NBA All-Star game in 2026.” 

2026 will, of course, be 250 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. We already know the 2026 MLB All-Star Game will be in the city, and Philadelphia Soccer has submitted a bid to host 2026 FIFA World Cup games at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Three years ago, former Governor Ed Rendell had said that Philadelphia was bidding to host the Super Bowl and all All-Star Games in 2026. We’ll see if that materializes, but it seems likely regardless that Philadelphia will be an ultra-active sporting hub that year. 

The Sixers’ lease at the Wells Fargo Center, which is owned by Comcast, ends in 2031. The organization’s proposal to redevelop Penn’s Landing and build an arena at the location was not selected last month.

There have been four NBA All-Star Games in Philadelphia, with the last one taking place in 2002. The late Kobe Bryant earned MVP honors in a 135-120 Western Conference win (and heard some boos) while the Sixers, the season after their last conference championship, had two starters in Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo. Iverson wore No. 6 in honor of Julius Erving. 

Sixers general manager Elton Brand made his first of two All-Star appearances in 2002, chipping in six points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the West. 

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