Dallas convention officials say the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend will bring millions of dollars to North Texas.
Festivities will take place in Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas over three days -- plenty of time for tourists to spend at local stores and restaurants that say revenue has been down for much of 2009.
"Projections are about 200,000 to 300,000 people with about 80,000 fans attending the game on Sunday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, but the 200,000 fans will be participating in events and activities leading up to it," said Philip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Downtown Dallas and Market Center hotels have been sold out for the weekend of Feb. 12-14 for months, and restaurants are expecting huge crowds.
"We are anticipating probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $90 million in economic impact, based on the numbers that they reported for Phoenix last year," Jones said.
Along with shopping, eating and All- Star events, parties will be a huge money-maker.
"I think the parties are a part of the weekend," Dallas Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki said. "The players association has a huge party where rappers come out and celebrities. You know what they say, 'Everything is bigger in Texas,' so I'm sure we are going to put on a great show."
And with more big events such as the Super Bowl on its way to Cowboys Stadium, this is only the beginning, Jones said.
"This is significant because Dallas has never hosted an event of this magnitude and now that we have the venues to that we need to be as aggressive as we can going after events like that because it brings millions to the community," Jones said.