The New Year: Cleveland sports

FreshWater writers (and sports fans) Doug Guth and Dana Shugrue look forward to the NBA All-Star Game coming to Cleveland in February and what the Cavaliers, Browns, and Guardians have in store for fans in the new year.

Basketball spotlight
by Douglas J. Guth

In February, Cleveland will welcome a cavalcade of high-profile hoopsters and their celebrity entourages for the NBA All-Star Game. It’s been a quarter-century since the league’s mid-season extravaganza came to Lake Erie’s shores, a spotlight extra bright this year as the exciting young Cavaliers are enjoying their best season since LeBron left to make Space Jam 2.

Dead-of-winter or not, the contest and its accompanying hoopla is expected to have a direct spending impact on Cleveland of $100 million. Held at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, the game will be seen in more than 200 countries—a testament to the NBA’s global push in recent years.

Hosting a significant economic-impact event can help further elevate Cleveland’s worldwide perception. However, with the newest COVID-19 variant casting a shadow over the league, as well as the larger region, a suspension of play is always a possibility. Predicting the virus is a fool’s game, so let’s hope Cleveland’s all-star festivities can safely take place next year.

Cleveland sports excitement
by Dana Shugrue

I’m excited to see what 2022 holds for Cleveland sports. The Browns are solid, the Cavs are looking great, and our baseball team has an entirely new identity. Clevelanders take pride in their sports teams, and the future certainly looks promising.