The NBA is far from desperate for All-Star venues. Austin said they usually get seven or eight teams interested each year. They will soon announce the 2014 host city and in the spring will send out bid specifications for '15 and '16.
As for Michael Reinsdorf's contention that only about 3,000 of 15,000 season-ticket holders would end up with tickets -- "It's not fair to them," he said -- Austin said the re-configuration of arenas could increase that number. He also pointed to the financial benefits to the city.
"The civic-minded entities within a city ... can be helpful in convincing [the Reinsdorfs] that it's not a bad thing," Austin said, "because when a game comes there, it's going to be shown in more than 215 countries, in 40 languages and everything is going to say Chicago on top of that."