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NBA All-Star Weekend to bring in an estimated $100 million to Cleveland businesses

One Downtown Cleveland business owner told 19 News his sales will double that weekend
Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 7:52 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - More than $100 million is expected to be pumped into the local economy during NBA All-Star Weekend, according to the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

Johnny Lis, the owner of Pizza 216, said he expects his sales will double that weekend.

“Weekends are always going to be busy here, but when you get that special event, the RNC, playoffs, now the NBA All-Stars, the draft,” Lis said. “It just brings a different crowd in and obviously substantially more people.”

Lis said they’ll have extended hours from Thursday to Sunday. He expects to make as much as he does in a month during All-Star Weekend alone.

“When you have every seat packed open to close for three or four straight days, it’s something that you dream about,” Lis said.

Lis said this event, which will be his biggest all year, couldn’t have come at a better time since sales typically slow down in the winter.

David Gilbert, the CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, said this event will draw tens of thousands of people to local businesses.

“We really have a sports-crazy nation, and these are events that have incredible followings,” Gilbert said. “That’s why there’s such a heavy competition to try and get these events.”

While many of Lis’ customers will be from out of town that weekend, he’s looking forward to serving some great food and hospitality.

“It’s pretty exciting because we have so many regulars, and when we get someone else to come in and say ‘holy cow, I didn’t expect this at a bar,’ it’s awesome,” Lis said.

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